Teachers’ days are spent interacting with students, parents and faculty, which may involve a lot of standing and walking in classrooms. Prolonged periods of standing, especially when it occurs repeatedly over time, increases the pressure within the leg veins and the likelihood of developing varicose veins.
Teachers stand for long periods of time each day, giving lectures and writing on the board. They may also sit for long periods while developing lesson plans and grading student work. These factors can have long-term effects on the legs and may lead to varicose veins and contribute to more significant chronic venous disease. Female teachers who wear heels at work has to realize that the additional strain on your legs and feet from wearing high heels can compromise proper circulation and contribute to blood pooling in your veins. Vein problems can be amplified if you spend long periods of time in heels, especially if you are overweight or pregnant said Dr P Mohnish.
Prolonged standing can cause veins to overwork, causing weakness. There are many professions required to stand for more than four hours each day and one of them is teaching. Prolonged standing may also contribute to vascular problems including varicose veins, chronic venous disease and chronic venous insufficiency. Varicose veins are not merely a cosmetic issue. They can be a genuine health concern that may impede the flow of blood in your legs and potentially lead to chronic venous insufficiency added by Dr P Mohnish.
How Do Varicose Veins Form?
Unlike arteries, veins contain one-way valves to prevent blood from flowing backward. When these one-way valves don’t work properly, or when the pressure inside a vein is too high, blood pools causing the vein to enlarge and become a varicose vein.
Why Are Teachers At The Risk Of Varicose Veins?
Research indicates that there are a number of negative health outcomes associated with prolonged standing, as standing for more than four or more hours each day or continuously standing for over one hour. Prolonged standing, especially standing in one place, leads to long-term back pain, physical fatigue, muscle pain, leg swelling, tiredness and body part fatigue.
5 Things Teachers Can Do to Improve Leg and Vein Health
Here are 5 things teachers can do to improve leg and vein health, both at work and at home:
Your body is designed to move. Try walking around the classroom to keep blood circulating or sit for short periods of time, whenever possible, to give your legs a rest. Outside of work, be sure to exercise regularly.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Carrying extra weight puts a strain on your body, including your veins. Additional pounds increase the pressure in your veins which weakens the valves, causing them to fail. Losing weight can reduce pain and swelling in varicose veins and possibly slow the development of other venous diseases.
Put Your Feet Up While Sitting
Take a few minutes at the end of the day to rest your feet by elevating them above your heart to help alleviate pressure and blood pooling that has occurred during the course of your day.
Choose Your Footwear Wisely
Save those high heels for special occasions. Investing in flat, comfortable shoes that provide excellent support throughout the day is a great place to start.
Wear Compression Stockings
Compression stockings are garments that apply consistent pressure in the legs, which keep blood moving back up to your heart, improving venous circulation and providing relief from pain and swelling.
What Are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
- Large veins that can be seen just under the surface of your skin
- Mild swelling of your ankles and feet
- Painful, achy, or “heavy” legs
- Throbbing or cramping in your legs
- Itching, especially on the lower leg and ankle
- Discoloration of the skin in the area around the varicose veins
What Are the Complications Associated with Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are usually not serious, but, complications may occur. They include:
- Inflammation or swelling of veins (phlebitis)
- Blood clots
- Leg ulcers
Dr P Mohnish, MBBS, MD is a Consultant, Department of Interventional Radiology, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai