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Benefits of Compression Socks at Work

Benefits of Compression Socks at Work

Introduction

People whose jobs require them to stand or sit for long periods of time, such as nurses, waitresses, and retail workers, are vulnerable to leg pain, swelling, and medical conditions that not only affects their health, but also their morale, productivity, and satisfaction.

Luckily, for some workers, wearing light compression socks (15-20 mmHg) designed to help improve blood flow and circulation in the legs can greatly reduce the risk of these issues. This white paper will explore the benefits of compression socks with light compression (15-20 mmHg) as work wear and how they can improve overall health and productivity.

Benefits of Compression Socks at Work

  1. Improved Blood Flow - Compression socks are designed to apply pressure to the legs, which helps to improve blood flow and circulation. This increased blood flow can help to reduce swelling and inflammation, as well as prevent the development of varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  2. Decrease Inflammation and Swelling - People who work on their feet for extended periods of time often experience swelling and discomfort in their legs. Compression socks can help to alleviate these symptoms by improving blood flow.
  3. Increased Comfort - Compression socks are designed to be comfortable and supportive, providing additional cushioning for the feet and legs. This can help to reduce the risk of blisters, chafing, and other types of skin irritation.
  4. Reduced Fatigue and Increase Stamina - For people who work in physically demanding jobs, compression socks can improve performance by reducing muscle fatigue and increasing endurance. This can help to increase energy levels and reduce the risk of injury. This can help to improve overall productivity and job satisfaction.

Choosing Compression Socks

When selecting light compression socks (15-20 mmHg) for work wear, there are a few important factors to consider:

  1. Compression Levels – Compression socks with light compression (15-20 mmHg) are appropriate for workers to wear compression for an extended period of time and promote blood flow. This is compared to firmer levels of compression designed for specific medical conditions or athletics.
  2. Graduated Compression – Most compression socks are simply designed to go from 15-20 mmHg as it moves down the leg. However, compression socks with targeted compression offer graduated compression as well as strategically placed arch bands and cushion for maximum comfort.
  3. Performance Materials – Compression socks can be made from a variety of materials, including nylon, spandex, and cotton. For someone looking for a sock at work, it is important to consider moisture wicking and anti-microbial properties to maintain foot health.
  4. Fit – Compression socks should fit snugly, but not be too tight. It is important to measure the legs carefully and choose socks that are the appropriate size. It is also helpful to try on the socks with the mandated work-appropriate footwear to make sure workers have a complete foot solution.

Conclusion

Compression socks can be an excellent choice to combat the potential for leg pain in people whose jobs that require them to stand or sit for extended periods of time. By improving blood flow, reducing fatigue, and providing additional support and comfort, compression socks can help to improve overall health and productivity. When selecting compression socks for work wear, it is important to consider factors such as compression level, material, and fit to ensure maximum benefit.

Dr. Pamela Mehta, MD 

Dr. William Spielfogel, DPM

Additional Research

Mostaghimi A, et al. (2014). Compression stockings for the initial treatment of varicose veins in patients without venous ulceration. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008819.pub2

Clark M, et al. (2014). Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of compression hosiery versus compression bandages in treatment of venous leg ulcers (Venous leg Ulcer Study IV, VenUS IV): a randomised controlled trial. Health Technology Assessment. DOI: 10.3310/hta18310

Partsch H, et al. (2018). Compression stockings for occupational leg symptoms and leg volume: a randomized crossover trial in a cohort of hairdressers. Phlebology. DOI: 10.1177/0268355518766874

Vemulapalli S, et al. (2017). Effect of graduated compression stockings on limb oxygenation and venous function during exercise in patients with venous insufficiency. Vascular Medicine. DOI: 10.1177/1358863X17710890

Stücker M, et al. (2010). Medical compression stockings decrease interstitial fluid volume in the lower leg of healthy volunteers. Journal of Vascular Surgery. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvs.2010.06.130