Causes of Chronic Venous Disease

Heavy, Painful & Swollen Legs

Prevention of Chronic Venous Disease


How Sitting All Day Can Have an Impact on Your Legs

Sitting all day can have an impact on your body, including your legs, while contributing to venous insufficiency.1 Venous insufficiency refers to a condition where the veins in your legs have difficulty returning blood to your heart, leading to pooling of blood in the lower extremities. This condition can be exacerbated by prolonged periods of sitting, especially when combined with other risk factors such as obesity, advanced age, or a sedentary lifestyle.

Poor Blood Circulation Can Cause Venous Insufficiency

When you sit for extended periods, especially in a position where your knees are bent, such as when sitting at a desk or in front of a computer, it hampers blood circulation.2 Sitting for prolonged periods causes blood to pool in the lower legs and feet, making it more difficult for the veins to pump blood back to the heart. This increased pressure on the veins can contribute to venous insufficiency.3

Reduced Muscle Activity Can Develop Varicose Veins

Sitting for long hours leads to reduced muscle activity in the legs. The calf muscles play a crucial role in helping blood flow back to the heart against gravity. When these muscles remain inactive, their pumping action weakens, causing blood to accumulate in the veins. Over time, this can lead to venous insufficiency and the development of varicose veins, which are swollen, twisted veins visible just under the surface of the skin.

prolonged sitting and varicosities

Increased Pressure on Veins Can Lead to Venous Insufficiency

Sitting for extended periods of time increases the pressure on the veins in the lower extremities. This pressure can compress the veins, making it even more challenging for blood to flow upward. As a result, blood can stagnate in the veins, leading to venous insufficiency.

Weight Gain and Obesity Increases the Risk for Venous Insufficiency

Sedentary behaviors, such as sitting for extended periods, can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Excess weight puts additional strain on the veins and increases the risk of venous insufficiency. Obesity also increases the likelihood of developing other risk factors for venous insufficiency, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Poor Posture Exacerbates Venous Insufficiency

Sitting for long periods can lead to poor posture, such as slouching or hunching over. Poor posture can compress the veins and hinder blood flow, exacerbating the risk of venous insufficiency. Maintaining good posture while sitting, with proper ergonomics and regular breaks to stretch and move around, can help alleviate this risk.4

poor posture

To avoid the effects of sitting all day on venous insufficiency and overall health, it's important to incorporate regular physical activity and movement into your daily routine. Taking breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around every 30 minutes or so can help improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of developing venous insufficiency.5 Remember to ask your health care professional for advice about the best treatments for your situation, such as  venoactive drugs. Only your doctor know exactly what’s the best for you.


  1. Mayo Clinic. Sitting risks: How harmful is too much sitting? 2022
  2. Dunstan DW, Dogra S, Carter SE, Owen N. Sit less and move more for cardiovascular health: Emerging insights and opportunities. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2021;18(9)
  3. Chicago Vein Institute. Desk job effects on veins. 2022
  4. Sudoł-Szopińska I, Bogdan A, Szopiński T, Panorska AK, Kołodziejczak M. Prevalence of chronic venous disorders among employees working in prolonged sitting and standing postures. Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2011;17(2):165-173.
  5. Eifell, R.K.G., Ashour, H.Y.A., Heslop, P.S., Walker, D.J. and Lees, T.A. (2006). Association of 24-hour activity levels with the clinical severity of chronic venous disease. Journal of Vascular Surgery, [online].