Influence of compression hosiery on physiological responses to standing fatigue in women

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Nov;32(11):1849-58. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200011000-00006.


Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the influence of various designs of commercial hosiery, which use graduated compression, on the physiological and performance responses to standing fatigue.

Methods: Twelve healthy women (age = 23.0+/-2.1 yr, height = 165.7+/-5.0 cm, percent body fat = 22.6+/-4.2%, body mass = 60.0+/-8.9 kg) volunteered to participate in this investigation. All subjects completed four identical standing fatigue protocols with different garment conditions each separated by 7 d. The standing fatigue protocol involved a total of 8 h of standing on hard floors during which subjects participated in various tasks and experimental testing procedures. In addition, all activity and dietary profiles of the subjects were carefully controlled 48 h before each experimental session. Before the standing fatigue protocol, subjects completed a battery of tests to establish morning baseline values. Experimental tests included determination of lower leg venous cross-sectional area, blood pressure, heart rate, perceived discomfort ratings, circumferences measurements, total body water, variation in center of pressure during "quiet" standing, vertical jump performance, and specific regional patterns of foot pressures.

Results: This investigation demonstrated that commercial hosiery with various forms of graduated compression and construction were effective in mediating a reduction in edema in the ankles and legs while reducing the amount of venous pooling and discomfort in the lower body. Different constructions of garments may mediate these overall effects via different physiological mechanisms related to fluid shifts and muscle tissue damage.

Conclusion: Wearing various types of graduated compression hose during the day as it relates to women in standing professions may minimize edema and muscle tissue disruption, thereby increasing comfort in the legs.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bandages*
  • Clothing*
  • Edema / prevention & control
  • Fatigue / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Posture