Many people often think of compression socks as medical devices. While compression socks are indeed worn by patients who are bedbound or recovering from surgery, many active individuals have shifted to using compression socks every day in an effort to improve their health. That being said, the compression socks used in medical facilities are a bit different from the ones that are used daily. To be specific, the former is designed to exert more pressure on the legs compared to the latter.
Whether they’re worn in a medical or everyday setting, compression socks can offer a number of health benefits to the people who wear them. The additional pressure from the socks helps support the veins in the legs, promoting better circulation in the area. This, in turn, prevents blood vessel damage (venous ulcers), swelling in the legs, and the formation of blood clots (deep vein thrombosis).
Given these potential benefits, adding women’s or men’s compression socks to your everyday wardrobe is definitely a good idea. If you’re still not convinced, here are four everyday activities that you can do in a healthier and safer manner by wearing compression socks:
Sitting for Long Periods
Many modern jobs require people to sit in front of a computer for hours on end, and this isn’t good for their health. Some medical researchers, in fact, have branded sitting as “the new smoking.” This is because sitting down for too long—and shirking physical activities, in general—can lead to health problems. For one, sitting for hours can lead to a bad back, tight hips, and stiff neck and shoulders. For another, it can also increase a person’s risk for diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
In addition to scheduling regular stretching and walking breaks, you can make your desk job much easier on the body by wearing compression socks. The pressure from the socks will help the blood in your legs flow more freely to the heart, even if you have to stay seated for extended periods. While you’re at it, you can also make ergonomic changes to your workstation to improve your level of comfort while in the office.
The best part is that you can switch from using regular socks to using compression socks for work, and no one will be able to tell the difference. These days, there are many commercial compression socks that are designed to go well with uniforms and more formal attire.
Standing for Hours
Some jobs can be physically demanding, requiring people to stay on their feet or to keep moving about as they do their tasks for the day. Standing up for hours can also negatively affect the body, and it can lead to muscle fatigue, chronic pain, and poor blood circulation. As such, people who need to stay on their feet are more likely to develop varicose veins, among other conditions.
Wearing compression socks can help improve circulation by preventing blood from pooling in the legs. The added pressure from the socks can help reduce the occurrence of achy feet and swollen ankles. Aside from wearing compression socks to work, it’s also a great move to find an arrangement where you can switch between standing up and sitting down as you go about your tasks. If this is not possible, an alternative would be to schedule regular breaks where you can stretch and relax your feet if only for a little while.
Training or Exercising
While wearing compression socks won’t help you run faster or jump higher during training, it still presents several benefits, such as improved blood flow. Compression socks offer a bit of extra pressure on your legs, allowing blood to flow to your upper extremities more freely even while you’re moving about. At the same time, the extra support offered by the compression socks will help you feel less fatigued and allow you to recover more quickly after your training or workout session.
Land or air travel often requires people to sit for extended periods, and this can inhibit blood flow to one’s lower extremities. As such, it’s a good idea to wear compression socks if you’re looking forward to hours of sitting down while traveling. Wearing compression socks will help improve blood circulation and prevent your legs from swelling or aching while you’re waiting to reach your destination. If you’re a frequent flyer, wearing compression socks can keep clots from forming in your legs’ blood vessels, preventing deep vein thrombosis in the process.
Not all compression socks are made equal, so be sure to look into the type of socks that will offer you the support you need. Also, take note that wearing compression socks is not an alternative to living a healthier lifestyle. Instead, think of them as a product that complements a well-balanced routine. To enjoy the full benefits of wearing compression socks, incorporate a healthy amount of physical activity, exercise, and recovery time into your schedule.