The first time that I heard the phrase cankles (also known as, Edema) was from a person who indicated that by the end of her day at a desk job, she could barely put her shoes back on and had swollen ankles and calves. While there are many potential contributors to this slang term, “cankles” referring to your calf and ankle swelling, that can range from obesity and congestive heart conditions to simply prolonged sitting or standing. In most cases, people who contract this symptom, simply just do not move enough throughout the day as a result of their daily routines.

Whether you sit or stand, gravity is playing a part on your body and you can counter effects like “cankles”, through a more routine exercise program and by introducing more movement into your day.

A recent study by the team at Guelph University under the leadership of Dr. Leah Bent, investigated the outcomes on an active sitting chair, CoreChair, versus a traditional ergonomic chair. With an objective to determine whether venous blood flow was affected by the subtle movements on this active sitting chair, the researchers found a significant reduction in calf circumference compared to the traditional chair during a 4-hour data collection period. Their conclusion was that even this subtle movement was effective in enhancing venous return.

You should speak with your doctor and rule out the possibility of other influencing causes relating to the swelling of your ankles and calves, in the meantime if you find that your ankle definition is transforming over the course of the day, consider moving more. An active sitting chair is can be beneficial and frequent walking breaks may help.  

People often ask, if it’s better to sit or stand and the reality is, that it doesn’t matter if we sit or stand, we need to MOVE. 

Exercises you can do at work: CoreChair Fit

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