‘Quick’ exercises you can do at your desk to prevent blood clots forming – expert

Blood clots are tiny clumps of blood that become gel-like. Although the ability to create clots is necessary as it stops excessive bleeding, they can become a problem. If clots don’t dissolve naturally they can be dangerous.

This is because they can travel to vital organs in the body, causing potentially fatal medical emergencies.

Examples of this include pulmonary embolisms, when the clot travels to the lungs, and ischaemic strokes, when the clot blocks blood and oxygen supply to the brain.

There are a number of factors that can increase your likelihood of developing blood clots.

One such factor is not exercising enough.

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Co-founder of Volonté, Haylene Ryan-Causer, spoke with to explain more.

The fitness expert, sprinter and Olympic weightlifter recommended ways to prevent clots forming if you have a sedentary job.

She said: ”Keeping good blood circulation throughout the day can help reduce the risk of clots forming as well.

“Since most people spend most hours of their day at a desk, it is important to do quick exercise such as ankle rotations, pointing and flexing their feet, knee lifts to the chest, shoulder rotations and light five to 10 minute walk every two hours would help keep circulation going.


“In a larger spectrum of exercise, cardio workouts such as walking, biking and rowing regularly three to four times a week can help cardiovascular blood circulation and health which can reduce the risk of clot formation.”

According to the NHS, other ways to prevent the risk of blood clots include:

  • Drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • Losing weight if you’re overweight
  • Wearing flight stockings or flight socks to improve your blood flow on long flights.

Ms Ryan-Causer’s colleague and co-founder of Volonté, Vidushi Biani, shared some of the best foods to eat to further prevent your chances of a clot.

The nutrition expert added: “The best way in my opinion to have a clean diet, is not by restricting food groups, but rather to avoid eating highly processed and fatty foods.

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“Try and eat more home cooked meals to avoid consuming excess sodium, sugar and fat.

“Avoid consuming excessive amounts of caffeine if you spend most of your day at a desk, as caffeine increases cortisol levels, which if not used up, can lead to increased fat storage in our bodies.

“Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, wholegrains, lean proteins, and omega rich fats.”

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that occurs when a clot forms in the arm or leg.

DVT is particularly dangerous as the blood clot can break loose and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.

Signs of DVT to look out for include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain or tenderness not caused by injury
  • Skin that is warm to the touch
  • Redness or discolouration of the skin.

Signs that a clot has reached the lungs are:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath or lying down
  • Coughing, or coughing up blood
  • Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat.

If you experience chest pain or breathlessness the NHS advises seeking medical help immediately.

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