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Indulge Yourself…Cross Your Legs

Crossing your legs only used to be bad manners. But it got bumped up to a “health hazard” back in the 1990s when a supplement company launched an ad campaign to stop women from crossing their legs. It was called the “Great American Cross-Out Day” and was based on the claim that leg crossing caused varicose veins.

But there was just one problem. It wasn’t true. The ad-men apparently ignored 12 major studies that identified age, genetics and pregnancy as the top risk factors for varicose veins.1,2

And leg crossing? – Wasn’t even on the list.
According to Duke University vein doctor, Eric Mowatt-Larssen, MD, crossing your legs doesn’t put enough pressure on the veins in the calf to cause damage.3 And if you think about it, crossing one leg over the other thigh lifts the leg up and could actually decrease pressure in the elevated foot.

1 Anahad O’Connor. NYTimes: Health: The Claim: Crossing Your Legs Causes Varicose Veins. 12April2005. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com
2 Maurins U, et al. Distribution and prevalence of reflux in the superficial and deep venous system in the general population – results from the Bonn Vein Study, Germany Presented at the Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the American Venous Forum, San Diego, Calif, Feb 14-17, 2007. Journal of Vascular Surgery Volume 48, Issue 3 , Pages 680-687, September 2008.
3 Kate Griesmann. DukeHealth.org: Health Articles: Myth or Fact: Crossing legs cause varicose veins. Retrieved from: http://www.dukehealth.org

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