Experts believe that long subway rides may induce spider veins

Vain commuters beware: Standing too long could increase your risk for unsightly leg veins.

Long-haul subway rides have been a part of nearly every New Yorker’s commute – until the pandemic struck and employees worked from the comfort of their home offices.

While remote working had its benefits, many are now dealing with varicose and spider veins while transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle back to regular routines.

Dr. Danielle Bajakian, a vascular surgeon and the director of the Columbia Vein Program, said she’s seen an uptick in patients seeking treatment for chronic venous insufficiency, which often causes varicose veins.

“It’s not because they had COVID,” Dr. Bajakian said in a statement. “It’s because of the significant lifestyle changes that people across the nation have had.”

With prolonged sitting comes a slew of health detriments, including varicose and spider veins – enlarged veins that can be caused by standing or sitting for extended periods of time and unfortunate genetics.

Being in one position, whether it’s sitting or standing, causes gravity to “pull the blood down,” said Dr. Mason Mandy, a board-certified surgeon and the chief medical officer at Metro Vein Centers in Manhattan.

“Anytime somebody is just in one place without moving for long periods of time – that’s when they can develop vein problems,” Dr. Mandy told The Post, adding that standing, especially throughout a long commute, can be a culprit.

It’s a double-edged sword: Lounging in your home office won’t do your veins any favors, he explained, but your hour-long subway commute won’t help either.

While Dr. Mandy has noticed an increase in patients since pandemic-era restrictions eased, he said it’s hard to say exactly why — or blame it on return-to-office mandates.

“That could very well be related to commuting,” he said. “A lot of our patients that come in and say, ‘I stand for an hour each way on the subway every day,’ or ‘I sit on a bus or stand on a bus for an hour and a half each way.’”

While nonlife-threatening, varicose veins can be a source of discomfort as well as an embarrassment due to their bright, purple-blue color. Spider veins, the smaller cousin of the varicose, are often just a cosmetic concern.

For Lisa Conigliaro, who considered herself to be an active, healthy 58-year-old, her sudden, debilitating pain severely impacted her daily life.

“When I would try to go to sleep at night, I would not be able to fall asleep,” Conigliaro, who lives in the West Village, told The Post. “I would have to get up three, four or five, six times in the night.”

She was a typical New Yorker – working in fashion as a stylist and in retail, carrying hundreds of pounds of apparel – and experienced long days on her feet. But she’s spent more than a decade hiding her legs behind pants, even in the summer heat, due to how “embarrassed” she was of her visible veins.

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