Know long hours standing side effects on legs while travelling in metro , buses

Rajesh , one of daily commuter who travels by metro every day from his home in Konankunte to his office in Indiranagar. He usually boards the metro at 8:30 am and reaches his destination by 9:30 am. During this one hour journey, sometimes he has to stand in the train without any support or seat. He often feels tired and uncomfortable in his legs, but he ignores it and carries on with his work.

One day, he felt a sharp pain in his left calf while standing in the metro. He thought it was a muscle cramp and tried to massage it. However, the pain did not subside and he started to feel dizzy and nauseous. He managed to get off the metro at the next station and called for a medical support . He was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition where a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg. The doctor told him that he had a high risk of developing a pulmonary embolism (PE), a life-threatening complication where the blood clot travels to the lungs and blocks the blood flow. He was given anticoagulant medication and advised to stay in the hospital for observation.

Rajesh was shocked and scared by this diagnosis. He wondered how he got this condition and what he could have done to prevent it. He realized that standing for long time in the metro was one of the main causes of his problem. He wished he had known about the negative effects of standing for long time in public transport vehicles and how to avoid them.

Public transport vehicles, such as buses, trains and metros, are a convenient and affordable way to travel in cities. However, they can also pose some health risks for passengers who have to stand for long periods of time. Standing for long time can cause various problems for the legs, such as swelling, pain, varicose veins and blood clots. It can also affect the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and the mental state of the passengers. In this article, we will discuss some of the side effects of standing for long time in public transport vehicles and how to prevent or reduce them.

Side Effects on legs when standing for long time

When we stand for long time, gravity pulls the blood downwards to the lower part of the body. This reduces the blood flow back to the heart and increases the pressure in the veins. This can lead to several complications for the legs, such as:

  • Swelling: The accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the legs causes them to swell and feel heavy. This can also affect the mobility and flexibility of the joints.
  • Pain: The reduced blood flow and increased pressure can cause pain and discomfort in the legs, especially in the calves and feet. This can also affect the balance and stability of the passengers.
  • Varicose veins: The weakening and stretching of the veins due to prolonged standing can cause them to become enlarged and twisted. This can make them visible under the skin and cause cosmetic concerns. Varicose veins can also cause itching, burning, throbbing and cramping sensations in the legs.
  • Blood clots: The stagnation of blood in the veins due to prolonged standing can increase the risk of blood clots or thrombosis. This is a serious condition that can block the blood flow and cause tissue damage or even death if not treated promptly.

Know long hours standing side effects on legs while travelling in metro , buses


Preventive tips

To prevent or reduce the negative effects of standing for long time in public transport vehicles, it is important to take breaks and relax the legs whenever possible. Some of the tips to do so are:

  • Move around: If possible, try to move around or change your position frequently while standing. This can help to stimulate the blood circulation and prevent it from pooling in the legs. You can also flex your ankles, wiggle your toes, bend your knees or stretch your calves to keep your muscles active.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: Avoid wearing tight or high-heeled shoes that can restrict your blood flow or put pressure on your feet. Instead, wear comfortable shoes that fit well and support your arches and heels. You can also wear compression stockings or socks that can help to reduce swelling and improve blood flow in your legs.
  • Elevate your legs: If you have a chance to sit down, try to elevate your legs above your heart level. This can help to reduce swelling and pain by allowing gravity to assist in draining the excess fluid from your legs. You can use a stool, a chair or a cushion to prop up your legs.
  • Drink water: Dehydration can worsen the effects of standing for long time by thickening your blood and making it harder to circulate. Therefore, it is important to drink enough water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated and prevent fluid retention in your legs.
  • Massage your legs: Massaging your legs can help to relax your muscles and improve blood flow. You can use your hands or a roller to gently massage your legs from your ankles to your thighs. You can also apply a cold or warm compress to soothe any pain or inflammation in your legs.

Standing for long time in public transport vehicles can have negative effects on your health, especially on your legs. However, by following some simple tips, you can prevent or reduce these effects and enjoy a safe and comfortable journey.