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Can Working from Home Give you DVT?

deep vein thrombosis west ryde sydney

With an unprecedented number of people working from home during the Coronavirus Pandemic, the medical industry is learning more about the risks of sedentary behaviour.

Specifically, how sitting at your desk for long periods without a break could heighten the risk of DVT- Deep Vein Thrombosis.

What is DVT?

DVT is a type of blood clot. It typically forms in the leg veins and causes symptoms such as a sore, swollen, warm and red calf area. While the clot will move throughout the veins, it could eventually become stuck in a smaller vein.

This is where the risk arises. As vessels travel closer to the lungs, they become smaller and the clot could eventually become stuck in the lungs. This is called a Pulmonary Embolus (PE) and it can, unfortunately, be fatal.  

What are the risk factors?

Blood clots are caused by blood not circulating normally in the body. The risk of developing a DVT is heightened after surgery, on certain medications and for individuals with blood-clotting disorder.

Also, being still for long periods, inadequate exercise and dehydration are all risk factors. This is why overweight or obese people and smokers are at a higher risk.

Frequent flyers are also at a higher risk of DVT. This is mostly due to dehydration and being seated for an extended time on a plane.

I sit at my home desk all day will I get DVT?

When you are still for a long time at your desk and become dehydrated, you increase your risk of developing a DVT. If you are not in a high-risk group and you are a healthy person, however, your risk is very low.

While sitting may not cause a DVT, it is still negative for your general health. ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ is rooted in factual evidence. Sedentary behaviour requires low energy and can increase your risk of many other conditions including obesity, diabetes, and depression.

What can I do to minimise my sedentary behaviour?

There are a few simple things you can incorporate into your day to minimise sitting and sedentary behaviour. Your health will thank you and it is likely you will be more productive.

Here are three ideas to try:

  1. Set a timer every hour to get up and have a break. Fill your water bottle, go and pat the dog, or do any task that requires you to get up and move!   
  2. Try a standing desk. They may be unusual to start with, but with the appropriate set-up, can be better for your health.
  3. Take your lunch break, even when working from home! Sitting at your desk for 10 hours straight without a break is bad for your eyes, your health, and your well-being. A half an hour break to fuel your body with good nutrients, move around and have a mental rest can reset your day and improve your mood and work productivity.

When working from home, also don’t forget to stay hydrated and stay connected to your work colleagues.

Northern Districts Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic offer quality physiotherapy care to locals from West Ryde and surrounds.

You can book your appointment online.

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