THE pandemic could lead to a surge of “sitting disease” among office workers, it has been claimed.

The warning comes on On Your Feet Britain Day, which aims to get people moving.

Emily Ball, clinical director of Active Step Foot & Ankle Clinic in Whiteley, said: “It has recently been reported by the Office of National Statistics that home working has increased by a third since last year.

“Although this may appeal to many, sitting at home, without even moving for the daily commute, could seriously affect our long-term health.”

“Sitting disease” is a term used to describe people who are inactive for long periods. This can raise their risk of type two diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Emily Ball, who founded Active Step eight years ago, said: “As a podiatrist, the higher risk of type two diabetes is extremely concerning.

“In these patients we have often seen foot complications develop, including foot ulcers, infection, and in the worst cases, lower limb amputation.

“Sitting for prolonged periods causes muscles to tighten and means people are more vulnerable to aches and pains.

“With muscle pain a major contributor to workplace absenteeism – a significant cost to businesses – it makes sense that employees should be encouraged to get up and move around,” she added.

“Not moving for long intervals can also cause pooling of the blood in the legs which can lead to varicose veins developing and swollen legs, ankles and feet.

“These issues are often unsightly and can make wearing hosiery and footwear very uncomfortable.”

She advocates a five-point plan for workers to combat the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle:

  • Switch to using a standing desk
  • Wear a fitness watch or wearable device that alerts you to move around after a period of inactivity
  • Do 10 seated calf raises at your desk every couple of hours to reduce blood pooling and swollen legs and feet
  • Drink plenty of water to improve blood circulation
  • Leave your desk at lunch time and go out for a brisk walk.