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E-thrombosis threat lurks behind computer: Study

Sitting long hours at the computer could put you at the risk of deadly blood clots.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2006 19:36 IST

Now here is a warning for those of you who are glued to their desks all day as a new study has found that workers could put themselves at risk of deadly blood clots.

The dangers of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) from lack of activity on long-haul flights are already well known.

Now experts warn sitting in front of a computer for hours could cause a similar condition known as "e-thrombosis".

Occupational therapists agreed remaining seated at work for too long was dangerous, and recommended regular breaks.

Dr Beverley Hunt, a blood specialist at Guys and St Thomas' hospitals in London, said people who sat at a desk all day then sat in front of a television at night were most at risk.

DVT occurs most commonly in the veins of the legs and is caused when blood flow is restricted, such as by a chair digging into the back of the legs, causing a clot, reports the Scotsman.

The biggest danger is that part of a clot will break off when the blood is allowed to flow again and become lodged in the lung or heart, causing death.

Dr Hunt said doctors were now issuing advice to prevent the condition, not only for long journeys in planes, cars or trains during the Easter break - but for working life.

"You can help avoid getting DVT by clenching your calf muscles. It's helpful to stand up and stretch your legs every so often, and be careful not to get dehydrated, as this makes clotting more likely," she said.

He recommended frequent "micro breaks" and changes of activity. "Make sure you keep moving about and keep your circulation going," he said.

First Published: Apr 14, 2006 17:16 IST