How to Prevent Leg Cramps When Sitting at Work

Leg cramps are caused by involuntary muscle spasms and can cause sudden pain or discomfort in one or both legs. They can be a result of various factors such as dehydration, pregnancy, low blood sugar or low potassium levels. You can use a variety of techniques to prevent leg cramps when sitting at work. If you frequently have leg cramps, consider seeing a doctor to determine the cause and a treatment plan.

Stretch to prevent leg cramps when working at a desk for long periods of time. Credit: Jon Feingersh/Blend Images/Getty Images

Step 1

Try not to sit in one position all day. Credit: Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock/Getty Images

Change your position frequently when working at a desk. Move your legs as much as possible. Try not to keep your legs crossed one way for an extended period of time.

Step 2

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the workday to prevent your muscles from becoming dehydrated, which can lead to leg cramps. Keep a glass of water on the desk as a reminder to drink enough water.

Step 3

Stretch your legs often during the day if you work at a desk and experience cramping. Stand up and bend over, straightening your legs as much as possible. Take short walks to give your legs a chance to increase blood flow. Stretch throughout the day and every night before going to bed to help prevent cramping.

Step 4

Add potassium to your diet to help prevent leg cramps. Choose from foods high in potassium such as bananas, avocados, raisins, yogurt and spinach. Snack on raisins and dried apricots to get even more potassium.

Step 5

Massage your legs and calves when sitting at your desk to help get your blood flowing, which can reduce the possibility of cramping.

Step 6

Adopt a regular exercise routine. Focus on stretching your calf muscles when you work out. Perform lunges and other leg exercises as part of your workout.

Step 7

Elevate your feet when possible. If you cannot do it at your desk, take periodic breaks to elevate your feet.

Step 8

Consult a doctor if you have frequent leg cramps while sitting at your desk. This could be a sign of an underlying medical condition, and may require prescription muscle relaxants.


Contact a doctor if your leg cramps are severe, if your legs become red or hot or if leg cramps last more than six hours.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.