n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Effect of a foot pump device on lower leg swelling in physically inactive office workers

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1010-2728



The aim of the study was to examine the effect of using a foot pump device (FPD) on orthostatic lower leg swelling in physically inactive office workers. Thirty-four physically inactive office workers (age: 41.6 ± 8.9 years, 26 females, 8 males) volunteered for the study. They participated in two exercise days (day 1 and 2), spaced one week apart. For day 1, participants were randomised to either exercising the left or right leg, using the FPD, with the opposite leg acting as the control. For day 2 there was a cross-over. Forty foot pumps were performed seated over 45 minutes of each hour for eight hours (total of 320 foot pumps/day). Lower leg volume changes were measured immediately before and after the eight hours. Volume changes were measured using water displacement volumetry. Participants had a 15 minute walking break every hour after the 45 minutes of sitting. Heart rate and steps taken were recorded on both days. There were no differences between day 1 and day 2 for heart rate or steps taken. There were no significant difference between the pre and post volumes for day 1 (pre 1310.88 ± 296.69 ml, post 1283.82 ± 293.52 ml, = .736) and day 2 (pre 1208.53 ± 338.66 ml, post 1207.06 ± 342.43 ml, = .164) for the FPD leg. There were significant increases in the post volume compared to pre for the control leg on day 1 (pre 1247.65 ± 301.51 ml, post 1424.71 ± 311.92 ml, = .005) and day 2 (pre 1187.06 ± 319.31 ml, post 1327.65 ± 307.55 ml, = .001). Therefore, the use of the FPD prevented an increase in lower leg swelling over a working day in physically inactive office-workers.

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