Health

Your desk job may cause cellulite

Move your legs when seated to prevent fluid from being retained

Singaporeans can spend up to eight hours a day sitting.

And while it may be comfortable and sometimes even unavoidable due to desk jobs, it could lead to a whole range of health problems and even contribute to the formation of cellulite.

While there is nothing wrong with having cellulite, you can prevent it if you want to.

Here are some tips from Ms Kate Shapland, co-founder of Legology, a British brand that focuses on looking after your legs and undoing the damage your desk job could be causing to the way they look.

She said: "Vascular issues, dryness and puffiness, and fluid retention are just a few of the issues women suffer from, not to mention high heel fatigue. Anyone who has ever worked on a shop or salon floor will know about leg aches and pains.

"I wanted to develop a line of high performance leg products that addressed all these issues, not just cellulite. I want women to feel lighter, more energised and positive from the feet up."

How are our desk jobs contributing to cellulite?

By keeping us inactive. Cellulite is not necessarily a fat issue - you do not have to be overweight to have cellulite. It's the way retained fluid, which has collected around the fat cells in areas like thighs and upper arms, distorts the overlying look of the skin.

Treating cellulite is not necessarily about reducing fat, it is about improving flow. That comes down to our lymphatic system, the circulatory system that removes waste from our bodies.

The thing to rememberis that the system only works when you move. So if you are sitting down all day at a desk, it's not moving, and that is when you retain fluid that makes legs feel heavy and causes cellulite.

What are some other causes of cellulite?

It can be triggered by hormone activity, which can increase weight and fluid retention. Diet can be a contributor if you are eating/drinking a lot of acidic food (coffee, carbohydrates, sugar) and not metabolising it well because your lymphatic system is sluggish due to inactivity.

Is there any way to prevent the formation of cellulite?

Be active and have regular massages.

What are some things we can do at our desks, at home and while travelling to keep legs from getting puffy?

Move your legs while seated at your desk or in an airplane. Rotate your ankles, point and flex your feet, roll a tennis ball under the sole of your feet.

Get up and walk around regularly - up and down a plane aisle, up the stairs, around the garden, add 10 minutes to your daily dog walk or go for a swim.

You mention warm weather and heat as one of the reasons for puffy legs. What do you do when you live in Singapore?

Rest your legs at the end of the day. If humidity causes puffiness, one of the best ways to take this down is to spritz your legs with warm and cool blasts of water using a handheld shower, then apply Legology Air-Lite, a deep drainage cream, and lie for at least 10 minutes flat on your back with your legs resting at right angles against the wall to help fluids run back up your legs.

This article was first published in Cleo Singapore (www.cleo.com.sg).

WELLNESS & BEAUTY