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Seated Workstation Hazards

Seated Workstation Hazards

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Published by Michael Gillan
sitting for hours at workstations is an occupational health and safety hazard because you can develop swollen ankles,deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins-Light Manual Muscle Relaxation offers minimization strategy
sitting for hours at workstations is an occupational health and safety hazard because you can develop swollen ankles,deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins-Light Manual Muscle Relaxation offers minimization strategy

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Michael Gillan on Apr 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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The Calf Muscle Pump-Light Manual Muscle Relaxation as an aid to lower leg circulationCopyright 2009 Michael Gillan 1 ultra marathon recovery specialistwww.aching-legs.org/workstation_sitting_legs_circulation.html 
Seated workstations can be a hazard to your leg health
Sitting for long periods is an occupational health and safety issue because the long term effect of poorleg circulation them on health is very real
 
(see www.hazards.org/standing)
 
Occupationally caused poor lower leg circulation from sitting at workstations is a health hazard to thelegs-maintaining the health of the legs is important but can be difficult to deal with when all yourworking day is spent sitting downI spend far too much time working on my computer-I have to get a life; but I am doing it voluntarilyand I do not rely on it to earn my living-other people do, they have no choice in the matter;receptionists, call center operators, there are many types of occupations where people are at their seatedworkstation for much of their working dayOne thing we all have in common is that we are compromising our leg health, and ultimately ourgeneral health and well being because we are not moving enough to help the circulation
Why is it so?
When sitting for hours concentrating on work, the calf muscles are inactive-they are not doing their jobas motors for a pumping system designed to move used blood and lymph fluid from the lower legsA swollen lower leg and ankle-showing how lack of movement can affect lower leg circulation
 
Recently there has been a link made between sitting for hours at a workstation and deep veinthrombosis, or as it is sometimes known, ‘economy class syndrome’-this is where the balance betweenthe clotting and anti-clotting agents in the blood go out of synchronisation in favour of the clottingagents, and blood clots form in the deep vein in the legThese can break away and lodge further up in the body disrupting blood flow back to the heartThe leg would look something like this-if your legs look like this go to the hospital-fast
 
The Calf Muscle Pump-Light Manual Muscle Relaxation as an aid to lower leg circulationCopyright 2009 Michael Gillan 2 ultra marathon recovery specialistwww.aching-legs.org/workstation_sitting_legs_circulation.html 
How would the swollen ankles go to the next level into a deep vein thrombosis?
The blood is made up of many components including water, clotting agents and anti-clotting agents-when the blood is static in the lower legs, the water (or lymphatic fluid) separates from the blood andflows into the spaces in the tissues around the ankles-as the calf muscles are not working, it can’t bepumped away fast enough so the ankles swell-but also the blood that is left thickensThe balance is tipped in favour of the clotting agents-if the veins have a roughened area in the insidewalls, the clotting agents start the process of forming a clot and deep vein thrombosis is developing
How to avoid this happening at the seated workstation?
The best advice to cope with poor circulation that can be given is to have the legs elevated to allow thebuilt up fluid in the lower legs to drain back to the bodyLying down with the legs in the air is the last thing legs that have not moved for the hours sat at theworkstation-they need movement this is too passive and no one has the time to do this during a break The legs need movement, but in many workplaces, this is difficult to do as not all bosses are sounderstanding; and may view the needed getting up to walk around as an attempt to avoid working
Light Manual Muscle Relaxation-a self help massage-lite recovery system
The Calf Muscle Pump
The calf muscle pump forces used blood against gravity up the legs back to the body for recycling-it ismade up of all the leg muscles-the main motors for the pumping system are the calf muscles, the soleuswhich is used for standing and walking and the gastrocnemius used for running and jumping
 
gastrocnemius
soleus
 
The Calf Muscle Pump-Light Manual Muscle Relaxation as an aid to lower leg circulationCopyright 2009 Michael Gillan 3 ultra marathon recovery specialistwww.aching-legs.org/workstation_sitting_legs_circulation.html They usually work as a pair by alternately putting pressure on the veins and releasing it-this takes usedblood back to the body through one-way valves- these stop it flowing back down towards the feet again
But when you are sitting at your workstation neither of them are moving at all
Lack of movement reduces the veins ability to open and close by keeping constant tension on them, thisis called calf muscle pump inefficiency it also affects the Lymphatic System through a reduction of lymph fluid flowWhen sitting for long periods the weight of fluid in the body puts pressure on the on the valves causingthe veins to widen-gaps in the valves allow leakage of fluid back into the lower legs-the pressure leadsto thing like varicose veins
Problems caused by calf muscle pump inefficiency include
 
Poor circulation
 
Lymph system inactivity
 
Venous return reduced
This can lead to long term leg health problems
(See www.hazards.org/standing)
 
Muscle health is based on having a constant supply of oxygen andnutrients to them
To maintain the supply of fresh blood to the lower legs a balance between what goes into the musclesand what comes out of them is important-fresh blood can't enter the muscle tissues if nothing iscoming out of them
 
Many people see massage as a means of removing the used fluid from the legs
The term ‘massage’ covers many areas and ways of using ‘constructive’ touch-most of them rely on theskill of the therapist at manipulating the muscle tissues-the knowledge they use to do this requiresmuch training and practise-they have to pass examinations in order to work in this fieldUnless you know what you are doing most modern massage techniques are not only too technical-theycan be too rough on tissues, arteries, and veins in the legs from
uncontrolled finger force
 and untrainedhands working
on
and
into
the muscles causing damageThe circulation is already challenged and the muscle tissues already struggling for fresh blood-working
on
the muscles entails using the hands and fingers to encourage circulation and this means usinguncontrolled finger force into the tissues
Why is working 
with 
 the muscles more important than working
 on 
them?
Dealing with the muscles in an appropriate way is important if using manual therapies-to help increaselower leg circulation it is important to make a choice that is not going to make things worseUnskilled hands working
on 
the muscles threaten the integrity of the venous and arterial systems bybreaking the fine capillaries and venules that run throughout the circulatory network of blood vesselsTo prevent this, fatigued legs need something simple that is easy to do without putting the system atrisk of damage

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