Young Louis as a proud Cub
KNOW THE RISKS
Sitting for just 90 minutes can raise the risk of developing thrombosis.
It is affecting young, fit and healthy people, and some, like Louis, are losing their lives, from essentially doing nothing wrong! It only takes a quick internet search to find youngsters in their early teens suffering! Why?
Although a number of contributing factors can increase your risk, it is absolutely vital you understand that you can develop DVT from just sitting. It is serious! This is not something that only affects people on long haul flights as I, and many others, had thought, and our campaign is here to change that view. So, be mindful of how long you are sitting, whatever you are doing; binge watching tv series, working, playing games for hours on end etc. You need to move around and keep your blood flowing and standing and walking around is the body’s natural way of maintaining that flow. No one is making anyone wrong for sitting, we are simply suggesting you stop and think – be mindful, and most importantly, know the symptoms of DVT.
What can you do? Take breaks from the computer and walk around. Set a timer to remind you to stand up. Maybe use a high desk you can stand at.
YOUR LIFESTYLE AND DVT
I have just spent a couple of hours sat at my computer adding content to this website. Seems ironic I have done that whilst warning you about doing the same. So many jobs require you to sit, probably at a computer.
You are more likely to be sitting for longer periods at home than in the office! Working patterns are changing and more and more of us are working from home. No colleague suggesting you take a tea break with them or a lunchtime stroll to the cafe, not even a walk to the station in the morning.
Following the launch of our campaign, so many have offered feedback about their own lives, and their children’s. Report of Zoom meetings back to back for hours whilst their children play computer games all day… these are real stories and real concerns
Know the risks and:
- Keep moving
- Take a break – at least every 90 minutes
- Walk around
- Do regular feet and leg exercises
- Check your sitting position/style – avoid cross legs/ankles or sat on one leg
- Keep well hydrated
- Avoid remaining at your desk for lunch
Is your game playing killing you?
Like many youngsters, Louis enjoyed playing computer games. He would finish work, call in at the gym for a workout and then return home to relax. With headphones on he would soon be chatting to mates online arranging a game in some fantasy world. If Louis wasn’t working the following day it wouldn’t be unusual for him to play computer games until the early hours. There is nothing unusual or unique about this, countless youngsters across the globe are doing just the same.
WARNING you have been playing 3 hours without a break
Our Louis did nothing wrong and neither are others, but the damage from sitting, for long periods, developing DVT, took Louis’ life and left us without our son!
Gamer’s thrombosis is a genuine concern.
Games have become so immersive, offering life-like realities for you to lose yourself in, for hours at a time. You may not be aware of the time you have spent sitting, less likely to be up and walking around and more likely to become dehydrated from not drinking enough – a suggested contributing factor to Louis’ condition.
Are computer games designed to keep you hooked, to keep you playing… perhaps obsessively trying to achieve the next level? Are they addictive? Certainly many social media apps are designed to keep you scrolling and so keep you engaged with the screen and computer games cannot be any different. I’ve done it myself; suddenly it is 3am before you realise. How easy is it to take responsibility for how long you are playing?
Games don’t come with warnings or reminders to take a break, that has to be down to you. Maybe it is something the gaming world can consider including: ‘WARNING you have been playing 3 hours without a break’.
Rest, we all need it and millions of us sit back in an evening to enjoy some mind stimulating, or numbing, tv. I cannot particularly see any risk there, but you may have already spent the day at your computer and further sitting is only adding to time spent off your feet. It is simple, just be mindful of how long you are sitting, and if you develop any unexplained pain, particularly in your leg, get it checked out.
DON’T IGNORE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms of DVT in the leg are:
- throbbing or cramping pain in 1 leg (rarely both legs), usually in the calf or thigh
- swelling in 1 leg (rarely both legs)
- warm skin around the painful area
- red or darkened skin around the painful area
- swollen veins that are hard or sore when you touch them
These symptoms also happen in your arm or tummy if that’s where the blood clot is.
You may also experience feinting.
Sometimes you a pain is easy to explain, maybe after heavy exercise etc, but an unexplained pain as described above may indicate DVT.