In Ergonomics, Wellness

What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless Leg Syndrome is a dysfunction in the nervous system triggering an urgent desire to constantly move the legs. It is often associated with a tingling sensation or an itchy “pins and needles” feeling.  These symptoms are exaggerated when the legs are held still. Unfortunately the medical community hasn’t been able to pin down the exact cause of Restless Leg Syndrome. Studies suggest RLS is linked to abnormalities in neurotransmitters that regulate muscle movement. It’s also speculated that RLS could be an issue within the central nervous system (the brain) where movement is regulated. However more research will be required to validate either theory.

Although doctors haven’t determined exactly what causes Restless Leg Syndrome, it has been linked with other diseases such as iron deficiency anemia or possibly diabetes, which can cause damage to the nerves in the arms or legs.

Dealing With Restless Legs During Pregnancy

Restless leg syndrome is a common complaint in pregnancy. According to a 2010 study by the University of Michigan it’s the most common complaint during pregnancy. Over one-third of pregnant women struggle with tingling sensations and uncontrollable desire to move their legs!

Like many other pregnancy ailments, this high rate is thought to be caused by increased hormone levels. A study done in Germany in 2009 discovered that women complaining of RLS had higher level of estradiol (the main type of estrogen hormone in women) than their other pregnant peers.

Another suspected cause is iron deficiency. Iron deficiency isn't terribly uncommon, but pregnant women tend toward deficiency in important vitamins and minerals. This is likely due to the high rates demanded by their growing baby.

Your Ergonomic Position Can Help!

Regardless of its cause, here are some simple actions you can take to help alleviate your symptoms and restore yourself to healthy productivity. Remaining still is difficult when you struggle with RLS, so switch to using products like a standing desk, ergonomic chair, or foot rest to help increase your blood circulation, decrease swelling in your veins and encourage active. Comfort products that help maintain the proper ergonomic position can restore your quality of life and increase your productivity. 

Well Desk Standing Desk Converter

What’s the Proper Sitting Posture at Your Desk?

Sitting is so bad for your health that it has even been called the new smoking, but most jobs today require you to sit. When you struggle with Restless Leg syndrome it feels impossible to have a productive day at a desk. However, sitting in the proper position may help. The art of proper sitting is something few understand and some don’t even have the muscle strength or flexibility to achieve. Run through this quick checklist when you are seated at your desk. 

Are your:

  • Eyes level with the top of your computer?
  • Shoulders low and relaxed?
  • Feet flat on the floor or preferably on a comfortable foot rest?
  • Hips close to the back of your chair with your upper back straight?
  • Legs at a 90 degree angle?

Proper Sitting Ergonomics

Maintaining a healthy sitting posture at your desk will help to:

  • Keep your bones in the correct position to avoid muscle aches and decrease wear on joints
  • Decrease ligament stress
  • Prevent backaches
  • Improve appearance
  • Prevent fatigue

Comfort Products and Simple Solutions to Ease Your Restless Legs

Sitting for extended periods of time at work becomes virtually impossible when you struggle with restless legs. The good news is that there are easy ways to ease your symptoms so you can focus at work and enjoy your day. Here are a few of our favorites!

Use an Ergonomic Foot Rest

Design your work area with proper desk ergonomics in mind.  Maintain your blood circulation and sit comfortably throughout the day with an under desk foot rest. An ergonomic foot rest isn’t expensive but it could go a long way in making your symptoms more manageable. The Rest My Sole Foot Rest is extremely comfortable with a reputation for longevity and durability that sets it apart from its competitors. It also provides an easy way to incorporate active sitting. Simply flip the curved surface over and use it to rock gently.


Stretch Each Day and Use A Foam Roller

Do your legs a favor and start each day by stretching thoroughly. Further increase blood flow and ease muscle aches with foam rollers. Simply use them to massage your legs each morning and then follow up with a thorough stretch routine. 


Consider Iron Supplements

Ask your doctor about starting an iron supplement. Iron deficiency is one of the key causes  linked with Restless Leg Syndrome. Ask your doctor about starting an iron supplement. Find ways to incorporate more iron into your diet by eating leafy greens or enjoying an extra serving of red meat each week.

Restless Leg Syndrome plagues an estimated 3-15% of the population. The exact causes on RLS remain unknown, but thankfully there are preventative measures you can take to ease your symptoms and enjoy a healthy productive day.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links.

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