How to prevent feet swelling while sitting at desk

The daily stress of managing responsibilities and dealing with everyday new tasks at work causes many office workers to disregard their health. It’s not easy to sit in an office chair from 9 to 5, and things get even more difficult if you notice your feet swell sitting at a desk. 

Swelling on the foot and tingling sensation in the legs are among the most common complaint by office workers. The problem is exacerbated by long stretches of seated hours during the day. Before coming to how to prevent foot inflammation at your desk, we should look for the causes that spark the issue. 

Causes of feet swelling when sitting at desk

Foot swelling is painful and disturbs the physical and mental health of office workers who already deal with much of it daily. 

To know how to prevent feet swelling while sitting at desk, one should be aware of the root causes. For this sake, below I have listed the main causes of why you suffer from foot inflammation at your work desk. 

Spending extensive hours in same posture

The first main reason for the swollen foot is the prolonged hours you might spend in the same posture. Maintaining the same posture for prolonged hours draws the fluid down in your body, causing fluid retention and improper blood circulation

These factors increase the chances of the feet swell sitting at desk. 


If you consume high calory food at your work desk and do not manage to burn your calories, you are developing fat in your body and at risk of ending up as a diabetic patient. The overweight puts strain on the lower body and restricts proper blood circulation due to high blood pressure – leading to foot inflammation and varicose veins. Take care of your physical health and follow a healthy lifestyle to avoid swelling.  

obesity and foot swelling relation

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a health issue in which the veins of the legs stop their function and do not manage to flow the blood back to the heart. This causes the blood to pool and develop high pressure in your legs, leading to leg and foot swelling. 

Consult the health care provider if you are experiencing continuous pain in your legs and noticing ankles and foot swelling. 

Improper functioning of kidney

The swollen foot is an alarming sign for office workers who maintain the same posture for prolonged hours and have a medical history of kidney misfunctioning.

foot swell reasons

The symptoms of kidney misfunctioning include poor appetite, weight loss, and foot inflammation due to sodium retention. 

One must get medical care if noticing any such symptoms to cure the disease firsthand. 

How to prevent feet swelling while sitting at desk

Experiencing foot inflammation is very painful and even more when you are bound to follow the same daily routine. It is normal to be tense about how to prevent feet swelling while sitting at desk. But no worries, I have got your back. 

how to prevent feet swelling while sitting at desk

Since prevention is always better than cure, I’ve figured out a handful of tips to prevent swelling and take care of your health to enjoy a happy work life.


First come first, exercises are important!

Regular exercise promotes efficient blood circulation and proper oxygen supply to each body cell. Here are some easy exercises you can do in your chair to prevent foot swelling. 

Foot pumps – Place your foot gently on the floor and rock it back and forth so you put pressure on your heels and then your toes. This will improve blood circulation and prevent foot inflammation. 

Better to do this exercise in a standing posture for best results. 

Leg extension – Sit with your back straight on the chair, and raise your leg parallel to the floor. Make sure that you do not bend forward. Repeat this exercise for five minutes with each leg. 

Use compression socks 

best compression socks

Looking for an easy tip on how to prevent feet swelling while sitting at desk? 

Compression socks are very beneficial in preventing fluid buildup in foot tissues by squeezing the foot tissues.

Wear compression socks in your office to avoid inflammation on your foot and legs. This care tip is said to have the best results. 

I looked out for a low price and good quality compression socks and liked Pairs Copper Compression Socks for offering a full range of motion and joint flexibility. 
Check these compression socks!

Standing desks do wonder!

Standing office desk

Being chained to the work desk is not just too painful but causes serious health issues. Take care of the posture, and do not follow the same posture for prolonged hours. 

Switching between an ergonomic office chair and a standing desk does wonders in this case. 

The ergonomics of the standing desk allow customizing the desk height as per your requirement so you can flex at your desk or stand straight to burn calories and ensure the proper oxygen and blood supply to your lower body, preventing swelling on your foot.  

Invest in foot pedals

What about doing an exercise while completing tasks at your work desk? 

Foot pedals make it possible to eliminate office chair swollen feet and offer your legs much-needed light exercise throughout the day. 

This under-desk mini cycle not only helps with aerobic exercise but also helps prevent obesity and is a good option to prevent foot swelling. 

You can consider using Himaly Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser at your work desk.
Check this on Amazon!

Stay hydrated

The hectic office routine can make you forget that you have been only surviving on cups of coffee for hours. It is not ideal, as taking caffeine leads to fluid retention and low-level dehydration. 

Make sure to follow a healthy lifestyle and drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, this will help you in feeling energized and keeping your foot relaxed throughout the day. 

Just follow these easy foot care tips and make sure to switch between a standing and seated posture to not put energy into thinking about how to prevent feet swelling while sitting at desk and enjoy your workday! 

What not to do to prevent feet swelling?

Worried about “Why do my feet swell when sitting in a chair?” 

You might not know, but there are some common mistakes we do that can spark swelling on your foot. Below are some actions to follow to take care of your foot. 

Do not sit in these positions

Crossed legs: A crossed-leg posture might feel comfortable, but you are unintentionally increasing the chances of developing edema. 

The crossed-leg posture puts a lot of strain on one leg while the other is placed over it, relaxed and hung. This posture disturbs the normal flow of fluid to the lower body resulting in stress and foot swelling.  

cross leg sitting at work desk

Meanwhile, the hanging leg experience partially weakened circulation and is at a higher risk of swelling.

Sitting on feet: Many people love to sit on their feet to take the pressure off their spine but are at the edge of developing serious health issues. 

This posture puts all your body pressure on the legs and presses the foot, restricting the proper blood supply to the lower body part and distorting it into unnatural conditions. 

If you have also been following this practice, stop it at the moment to prevent foot swelling. 

Pro tip: If you can’t follow this tip, try using an ergonomic kneeling chair with a rocking feature or switch to a standing desk to enjoy looking down at your normal foot at the end of the day. With that said, there is a seperate guide on kneeling chairs product reviews, make sure to read by clicking here.

Crossed and outstretched legs: This posture may look the most relaxing of all but has the worst health effects due to the poor curvature it gives to your spine. The added pressure on your foot’s ankle and heels makes it worse and is an example of how a posture that looks comfortable may end up pushing you into a serious health condition. 


Why do my feet swell at my desk job?

Edema, the abnormal buildup of fluid in the body’s tissues in the lower body part because of the effect of gravity, is the main cause of foot swelling at the desk job. Staying chained to the desk or standing for extended hours, obesity, and any medical history are among the other causes of noticing swelling in your foot.  

How do you elevate your feet when sitting at your desk?

Positioning the legs above the heart level is very beneficial to slow down the force of gravity acting on body fluid. This can be achieved by leg lifting or placing your legs on the work table for a few minutes. 

Is it better to sit with feet up or down?

It is better to sit with your foot up because, in the downward position, gravity acts more on the fluid, making the blood difficult to pump back to the heart. 

If keeping the foot up is impossible, frequently take breaks from your office chair or switch to a standing desk for better results. 

How long do you have to elevate feet to reduce swelling?

Experiencing swelling on the foot affects work productivity and can spark many serious health issues.  Lifting your leg for about 15 to 30 minutes three to four times daily reduces the chances of building edema. 

Wrapping up 

If you are an office worker experiencing unusual pain and swelling in your foot, it is high time to start taking care of your foot immediately. Always keep an eye on the ergonomics of your posture. Do not stay chained to your office chair all day long; try a standing posture and start acting on the measures I have shared with you until you find the perfect one to make your workday more comfortable.

P.S: Always consult the doctor.