Car seats, circulation and swollen feet

Enquiry about “car seat cutting off circulation and foot swelling”

I assume that your butt is lower than your knees when you sit in your driver’s seat. The modern driver’s seat in all small cars, both Japanese and American, will cut off circulation to the feet and the lower legs and cause the feet to become swollen after driving for about 40 minutes or about 30 miles. Sometimes, after driving a car with an automatic transmission for an hour or two hours, approximately 98 miles, San Francisco to Sacramento, for example, the feet become swollen. Sometimes, after a drive from Reno to San Francisco, about 346 miles, the feet will become swollen. The feet swell up because of a lack of movement for an extended period of time. Sometimes the feet will become swollen after you drive from San Francisco on 101 south to King City where you will have to stop for gas, a two-and-a-half-hour drive. This would be because of a lack of movement of the legs and the feet during the drive. However, the feet do not seem to become swollen that much after driving from San Antonio to Houston, or from Houston to Dallas, both of which are three-and-a-half-hour drives.

If you drive a small car, place a pillow on the driver’s seat and sit snug against the seat back and pull your seat forward. Your butt and your knees should be at the same level. Tilt your steering wheel up and forward. Go look at the steering wheel of a city bus, not a yellow school bus, and you will see that the steering wheel of the city bus is almost horizontal.

Enquiry about “Sudden swollen feet from computer chair?”

The key word is “sudden” and the simple answer is “Yes.” The feet will swell when circulation to the legs and the feet are obstructed. This usually happens when the knees are higher than the butt and there is extra body weight pressing on the forward part of the thigh right above the knee. By “sudden” we are talking about ten minutes or so. If the “computer chair” you are talking about is an “ergonomic chair”, it would be most likely that the “ergonomic chair” is the culprit causing your swollen feet. Throw the chair away and use a swivel student chair without the seat back. Use the chair as a rolling stool and make sure that the knees and the butt are at the same height. In my acupressure and reflexology classes, I used to tell students to use a padded stool with wheels. The keyboard should be near the level of the knees so that when you type, you are using your fingers to hit the keys with the wrist in the air, not resting on the desk. Piano players hit the keys. Those who rest their palms on the desk to type on a computer keyboard for a long time will get carpal tunnel syndrome. Piano players do not get carpal tunnel syndrome. They get arthritis. Secretaries get both carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. Also, place the computer screen slightly below your horizontal eyesight so that when you are working at the computer and staring at the screen, you are looking slightly down at the screen, not right in front of your eyes at eye level or higher than your eye level.

“Sudden swollen feet” or a relatively rapid onset of swollen feet when one sits down may also indicate circulation problems and heart weakness. If the skin color of the swollen feet is white, there is a rather severe circulation problem. If the swollen feet are both white and they feel cold to the touch, then there definitely is a severe circulation problem. Stand up immediately and walk about. In my reflexology classes I always recommend not sitting for more than 20 minutes. Stop working after 20 minutes, take a rest for 10 minutes, walk about, stretch, jump in place. This will revive active circulation. If the feet are swollen, press down on the swollen parts, put some mentholated ointment on the feet, rub and press. When the feet are swollen and the feet feel numb, there may be a circulation problem caused by some kind of thrombosis in the leg. Sciatica will also cause numbness in the feet. Reflexology can remedy this numbness due to sciatica.

People with a weak heart who sit for 11 or 13 hours on international flights run the risk of death due to thrombosis in the leg. The thrombosis travels to the heart and causes a fatal heart attack. A famous American journalist who took a flight from Rome back to New York after vacationing in Italy died of this.


About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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