Can a Chair Cut Off Circulation: What Research says?

Our sedentary lifestyle makes us sit for almost 8-9 hours every single day, event at our leisure time. I am a developer, and I sit every day for a long time, and sometimes it hurts my lower body due to low blood flow. Can a chair cut off your blood circulation?

Sitting on a chair doesn’t cut off blood circulation. However, prolonged sitting without mobility may develop a blood clot in the lower part of the leg (deep vein). This condition is medically known as DVT(deep vein thrombosis).

In this post, we will tell you how you may develop DVT, how to prevent it. What can you do to improve your blood circulation while sitting and also, we recommended two chairs to improve blood circulation. We’ve studied many research articles related to this topic, and We are going to tell you what research says about blood circulation while sitting.

How Should I Sit To Improve Circulation?

Sitting posture is a significant issue when it comes to blood circulation. It is tough to sit in a proper position for a long time. When you remain seated for long hours working on a project, you started to feel discomfort and fatigue, and due to immobility, it causes poor blood circulation.

Research shows that people change their posture while seated for work to reduce discomfort. You can reduce discomfort by making postural changes easier with more mobile seats. Research also suggests using a dynamic chair that enables pelvic movement while sitting.

Solutions to improve blood circulation in a sitting position:

  1. Proper sitting posture is to sit on a chair with your legs spaced slightly apart and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Try to keep a 2-3 inches gap between the edge of your seat and the back of your knee.
  3.  Keep your elbow to the armrests without your shoulders being hunched, and elbows should be parallel to your working surface, your back should rest on the back of your chair. Adjust your armrests and seat height if necessary. 
  4. Also, you can elevate your legs to improve circulation in your legs. You can put your feet up on a stool, or you can use a footrest.

Whenever you’re changing your sitting posture, keep in mind to go back to the proper sitting posture to avoid any blood flow restriction to your lower body. Avoid sitting cross-legged as it’s the most common sitting posture. Cross-legged posture reduces the blood circulation to your legs.

How Can I Improve Circulation In My Legs While Sitting?

If you have a desk job, you probably sit for prolonged hours, which eventually causes poor blood circulation to the legs. You ended up developing a lot of issues like DVT, leg swelling, discomfort, and fatigue. So, how would you improve your circulation to get rid of these situations?

According to a study, to prevent DVT, you should drink adequate fluids, avoid smoking and alcohol, not wear tight clothing, and do exercises such as walking when you feel discomfort and stretching your limbs. Studies found that a combination of stretching and deep breathing further increased blood circulation.

You could also have a swelling leg issue. Another study found that as little as one hour of sitting may lead to leg swelling because the chair can compress the veins in the thigh and hip areas, leading to poor circulation. 

As I mentioned above, prolonged sitting causes less blood circulation to the lower body. There are few ways you can improve circulation while sitting. You could take a walk or stretch your limbs that can improve circulation.

What if you are in an airplane and you are in a restricted sitting position? In this situation, you can develop DVT due to prolonged sitting. While you are in a sitting position, you can recline back, stretch your body, and do deep breathing, improving blood circulation to the lower legs. Also, you can stretch your lower body a few times, which will reduce muscle fatigue.

Is It Bad To Sit On a Hard Chair?

Sitting on a hard chair is not bad, but you should not use it as your working chair. As a hard chair has no padding or little padding on the sitting area, you won’t be able to use it for long hours, and you will start to feel uncomfortable. As far as I know, hard chairs are not ergonomically built.

An ergonomic chair follows your spine pattern and provides excellent support to your lumbar, and keeps proper posture, improving blood circulation to your lower body. It’s challenging to maintain an appropriate posture on a hard chair due to its lack of adjustability.

I would advise you to try avoiding hard chairs unless you have a coccyx (tailbone) issue, even if you use it, don’t sit for a long time, and try to use a little cushion to the sitting area to make it a bit more comfortable.

What Happens When Circulation Is Cut Off To a Leg?

In General, if you cut off circulation for a couple of hours, you will feel pain, but there won’t be any damage to your muscle if circulation returns. The lack of blood circulation will increase the pain. If the blood circulation is off for a couple of hours more, then the leg’s tissue will die 50% due to lack of oxygen and nutrients.

If the blood circulation is off for six hours, then usually 100% of your muscle tissue will die. Having good blood circulation is essential for every part of your body.

If you want to know more on, how a chair can cause leg pain, Check out this article on our site: Can My Office Chair Cause Leg Pain?

My Recommendation for Best Chair for Leg Circulation:

You can improve your blood circulation using a dynamic chair like the modern ergonomic chairs with adjustability to fit your posture and keep you nice and comfortable during work. I would recommend you choose a chair with in-motion technology where you will be able to move your pelvis while sitting. 

Most of the ergonomic office chairs are dynamic. You can recline, stretch your back and relax for a few minutes; some of the chairs have a leg extension feature where you can elevate your leg to improve blood circulation.

I would also recommend you check the kneeling chairs, as they provide the most dynamic feature. You can constantly move during work as they follow your natural body movement.

Two of my favorite dynamic chairs are…

  1. All33 backstrong c1 chair (Uses In-motion technology)
  2. Varier Variable Balans Kneeling chair

If you have swelling leg issues (edema), back pain, DVT, Venous insufficiency to the lower extremities, etc., for any of them, those two chairs above would be a great deal.

Final Thoughts:

Prolonged sitting on any chair can lead to poor blood circulation to your lower body. When this happens, your lower body is getting less oxygen as well as fewer nutrients. It would help if you always avoided prolonged sitting. If you are in a restricted area like cinema theatre, airplane, etc., you can try stretching and deep breathing.

According to a study combination of stretching and deep breathing increased blood circulation a lot. If you have a 9-5 hour desk job, try using a dynamic chair that fits you well and maintains a proper posture while sitting.

Sitting for long hours can be ended up leading to many health-related issues. Our modern lifestyle makes us sit all day long. Try doing exercise on a regular basis that will help you get better blood circulation.

Thanks for reading!! Before you go, please take a minute to check our article, Best Office Chair for Better Blood Circulation: A Complete Guide.

Sifatul Shohan

Hi, I'm the co-owner of A blogger and a freelance web developer.  As I work as developer, I have to work for prolonged hours at a desk that's where I developed back pain. I started researching on ergonomic chairs and gained knowledge throughout the process.  This is the site where I share everything I've learned about office chairs.