Preventing Leg Pain From Sitting Too Long

While many people suffer from leg cramps at night, some others actually get more leg cramps at day, especially when they spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or working on their computer. While many of the causes of leg cramps are the same for leg cramp sufferers during the day or night, there are some different techniques you can use to prevent leg cramps while sitting at work all day.


Stay Hydrated

Office environments are often filled with stale, dry air, so your body naturally tends to dry out as well. Try keeping a bottle or glass of water at your desk at all times and take frequent sips of water from it. Ideally, you should be drinking three to four full large glasses of water or liquid per day. While it is true that coffee and tea contain caffeine that can serve as diuretics, one or two cups won’t harm you.

Stand up and Walk Around at Regular Intervals

A lot of people become so absorbed in their work that they sit still for a large period of time, unknowingly cutting off circulation to their legs and feet. To avoid this problem, try to schedule regular breaks where you stand up and either take a walk around the office, jog in place or at least stretch for a minute or two. If you find yourself forgetting to do this, try setting a regular alarm on your computer that goes off every 20 to 30 minutes, reminding you to stand up and take a short walk.

Move Your Legs At Your Desk

Even if you can’t get up on a regular basis, you can stretch your legs under your desk, massage your calves while you’re on the phone or read something online or just do a little tap dance on your own. Anything you can do to keep your circulation flowing will help prevent your legs from cramping. Have your PC under your desk? Consider moving it so that you have more room to stretch and move your legs while you work.

Adjust Your Chair

The way you’re sitting could be contributing to cramping leg and calf muscles. Make sure your chair is not pushing against the back of your legs and cutting off circulation. You may also want to raise or lower your chair so that your legs are relaxed and comfortable when you’re sitting and not stretching to read the floor or cramped and bent in an uncomfortable position.

Stretch your Lower Back

A lot of people slouch at their desk, which strains the lower back and core body muscles. This straining can contribute to cramping legs. You can try straightening your back or even using a small pillow to increase the lumbar support of your chair.

Movement Before & After Work

Go to the office on foot or by bike or hop on and get off the bus a few stops before your destination to take two more steps. Making movement before and after work helps clear your mind and relax a bit. To make sure you do it, you could get along with someone for a walk after work so it’s less likely to skip the effort. 

Upgrade Your Chair or Desk

It is obviously easier to adjust your existing chair and desk to be more ergonomically correct, but when that fails you may need to change your work environment in order to avoid leg cramps after long periods of sitting down. Some people swear by using yoga balls in place of a desk chair because it allows them to constantly move and bounce to keep the circulation flowing in their legs. You may want to try a different sort of desk arrangement or a higher or lower desktop. You can even make your own standing desk if you think sitting too long is causing your regular leg cramps.

Change Your Diet

There are lots of things you can do to prevent leg cramps and changing your diet to include more foods that are high in potassium. Failing that, you can try sipping apple cider vinegar and honey to avoid leg cramps.

Remember, leg cramps could be the sign of a more serious condition. If you are frequently having leg cramps even after trying some of these remedies then you may want to schedule an appointment with your doctor to see if there are other underlying causes to your leg and muscle cramping.

Do Exercises Regularly

There are obviously exercises that can strengthen the muscles of the buttock. If the situation is very serious, we advise you to contact your doctor who will direct you to a physiotherapist. Here are a couple of exercises you can do at home:

1. Put on your back and bend your legs with your feet firmly on the ground, raise your pelvis and contract your buttocks holding the position for at least 2 seconds.

2. Lie down on your side with your hammer feet and legs straight. Slowly raise the leg and try to contract the buttock. Keep the position and lower the leg. Repeat several times and change sides.

Aerobics and swimming are also very useful for moving this part of the body.

Here are the effects of sitting too long:

  • The heart is the organ that is most affected by it. Those who sit too much time run the same risk as those who smoke a lot. The muscles begin to burn less fat, the blood to flow more slowly allowing the fatty acids to attack the heart. Too much time sitting predisposes to having high cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • When we sit for a long time our body increases insulin resistance; muscle cells do not respond promptly and the pancreas produces too much sugar that eventually causes diabetes. Already after one day of prolonged sitting the insulin response decreases.
    Insulin then promotes cell growth in various organs: the colon, the breast, the endometrium. On the contrary, the movement increases the production of natural antioxidants that kill harmful cells.
  • Sitting for too long has negative effects on the brain; moving favors the flow of blood and, consequently, improves both memory and mood.
  • Sitting down slows the circulation and it ends up suffering sooner or later of pain in the legs, in particular, the ankles, they make their appearance varicose veins and they go to meet dangerous blood clots that lead to thrombosis.

The positive effects of the movement, even if slow, are not counted; you burn calories, increase energy, you lose weight. The movement triggers important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within our body so it is absolutely worth trying and talk about standing on the phone for example, have breakfast at the bar standing instead of sitting, take a walk in the lunch break, wear a treadmill and use it maybe while watching a program on TV.

ReadLeg Pain and Cramps at Night

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