How To Avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis

Health and safety covers many factors in the office from the expected DSE risk assessment to how to use basic office equipment, sensible use of chairs and how to avoid things that could cause accidents. DSE risk assessment will cover the opinion of health professionals about how long it is healthy to be sitting in one position and the recommendation is that we take regular breaks from our desk throughout the day. This is said to relieve the possibility of back ache and eye strain.

But there is a much more life threatening reason we should be taking note of this aspect of DSE risk assessment. It has been found that office workers are highly susceptible to deep vein thrombosis.

Normally, DVT is associated with long haul flights but if you think about it, sitting on a plane is no different from sitting at your desk if there is insufficient leg movement.

The risk of blood clots in the legs or lung, which can prove fatal, could be doubled in office workers who do not take enough breaks. It is serious enough to be given its own tag of e-thrombosis, covering anyone sitting working at a computer all day. Long periods of immobility cause blood clots to form. If they travel to the lung they can cause the lungs to collapse or the heart to stop.

If this condition goes unnoticed until it is too late, up to thirty percent of sufferers will die and that is a serious amount of people that should have this danger pointed out to them during DSE risk assessment.

Frequent foot and leg exercises, even whilst sitting at the desk will help a great deal, flexing and pointing of the feet is one useful way of keeping the blood flowing freely but it is much more beneficial to get up and walk around for a few minutes every half hour.
This is easier said than done. Once at your desk and involved in your workload for that day, the next thing you know its lunch time and you havent moved more than your fingertips.

Walking around, even just for a few minutes, at regular intervals throughout the day will suffice in the fight against DVT. However, try to avoid taking walks around the car park.

Traffic fumes will increase the risk of blood clots because of the amount of extra pollution in the air. And, of course, this pollution will be intensified in the slow moving traffic of the office car park. This is one thing that DSE risk assessment will not tell you about because the office itself does not suffer traffic pollution. Tiny particles within the fumes have been found to contribute to DVT.

What DSE risk assessment will cover however, is the incidents of slips and trips within the office. It is absolutely essential that no trailing flexes are left laying around and the same applies to peoples bags or anything that might possibly cause a trip hazard.

This is because even a sprained ankle can lead to an increased risk of DVT. In a survey of 2,500 DVT patients it was discovered that twelve percent had suffered a minor leg injury at some point in the three months before the clot.

So, if you have just come back from a long haul flight, are on the contraceptive pill, walk through traffic fumes on the way to work and then sit in the office all day, you really should take a closer look at your lifestyle if you want to avoid deep vein thrombosis.


About the Author (text)Health and safety expert Catherine Harvey looks at how tips from DSE risk assessment can help to counteract DVT among office workers. To find out more please visit

DSE risk assessment

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