An Investigation of Recommended Lower Leg Exercises for Induced Calf Muscle Activity

K.J. O'Donovan (Ireland), T. Bajd (Slovenia), P.A. Grace, D.T. O'Keeffe, and G.M. Lyons (Ireland)


Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT); Prevention; Calf Muscle Pump; Lower Leg, Exercise, Joint Coordinate System


Active voluntary contraction of the calf muscle is an essential factor in the circulatory system. Failure to exercise the calf muscles for prolonged periods may result in limited or poor blood circulation in the lower leg and increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). An association between long distance travel and increased risk of DVT has been established. Most airlines recommend a number of lower leg exercises as a DVT preventative measure. Not all lower leg exercises induce calf muscle pump activity and therefore may not be beneficial in the prevention of DVT. A study was devised to investigate the exercises recommended to passengers for DVT prevention on long distance flights to determine a potential benefit to the health and safety of the passenger. The technique used for the evaluation of recommended airline exercises for optimal calf muscle pump activity is described.

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