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How To Fix “WFH Ankles” via Exercise and Compression

In these WFH times you may have noticed that your feet and lower legs are much more swollen at the end of the day than they were in “normal” times. That’s because your schedule is different, and so are the demands on your body.


WFH means that many of us are sitting in front of our computers all day long, with few excuses to get up and walk around. We’re not going out for lunch, we’re not going out for a coffee, we’re not wandering over to shoot the breeze with colleagues (or discuss work-related things with colleagues, boss!). Sitting in one position hour after hour can cause your feet and lower legs to swell, and puts you at greater risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially life-threatening blood clot.

The answer, of course, is to prioritize getting up and moving around, as often as possible, but when you’re in full flow (or in the middle of an endless Zoom call), that’s not as easy as it sounds.

hellophysio wfh ankle work from home 2

[Photo:Jenny Huang, Founding Physiotherapist of HelloPhysio]

Physiotherapist Jenny Huang recommends moving every 30 minutes to reduce stiffness and re-lubricate joints with synovial fluid (the clear fluid in our joints that ‘greases’ the surfaces when we move). Jenny says, “As we sit and work, we often assume a position of comfort (slouching with head forward). I tell my clients to move in the opposite direction to how they sit and to use a wall for biofeedback. Stand with your head and butt against a wall, move your arms overhead so the backs of your hands and elbows touch the wall, then pull your elbows down towards your torso like “W” to retract your shoulder blades and activate your postural muscles.”

But wait! Jenny has more! “Another quick exercise is to just do squats over your work chair,” she says. “The best technique is to hover over the chair, with your knees aligned over your ankles, activating your gluteal muscles [that’s your butt, FYI] and quads. Repeat five times.”

[Original article and images reposted courtesy of Red Dot Running Company]


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