Aching Legs Affect 70% of the UK, Says Compression Socks Retailer Daylong

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New research from compression hosiery retailer Daylong shows 70% of UK adults experience aching legs, swollen ankles, leg pain or discomfort – but only one in ten use compression socks or stockings to alleviate symptoms. From varicose veins to gruelling sports regimes, swollen ankles in pregnancy to sitting for too long, Daylong has covered the causes of the UK’s aching legs in an informative infographic, alongside helpful guides to using compression socks or stockings to treat aching legs and swollen ankles.

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If left untreated, aching legs can lead to more serious problems, such as varicose veins and swelling in the legs. Lifestyle changes can help treat tired, aching legs, such as exercise, a good diet, and wearing compression socks.

Around 70% of the UK experiences problems with aching legs or swollen ankles, with more than half suffering on a weekly basis, according to new research from compression hosiery retailer Daylong.

Daylong asked 2,000 UK residents about tired, aching legs to discover how many people suffer, and the reasons why.

The research showed 70% of adults had experienced symptoms, with one in ten suffering on a daily basis.

Daylong has created an infographic showing the truth behind the UK's aching legs, based on its research.

Surprisingly, despite the problem of aching legs being relatively widespread, Daylong discovered that only one in ten people who suffer actually use compression socks to help soothe the pain.

Daylong has created an interactive page to help sufferers understand why they have aching legs or swollen ankles.

The group includes mums to be – as women often experience swollen ankles or swollen feet in pregnancy; sporty types – who can suffer aching legs after physical exercise; sitters – whose legs ache after being inactive for long periods (such as office workers at a desk); standers – who spend a lot of time on their feet; and active people, who walk a lot.

For each, Daylong has suggested a range of ways to treat aching legs using compression hosiery, compression socks or stockings.

Compression hosiery works by applying firm compression to the veins and muscles in the legs. This helps stimulate the body’s natural circulation mechanisms to alleviate swelling, pain and discomfort.

From those interviewed, only one in five were aware that compression hosiery, like compression socks, can help prevent and treat tired, aching legs - whilst half were unaware that GPs recommend compression hosiery to treat leg-related health conditions.

From the one in ten who use compression hosiery, 80% said compressions socks and stockings helped prevent swollen legs, reduced the pain and aching, and made them feel more comfortable.

Daylong also discovered the problem runs much deeper than sore legs. Almost a third of those questioned (29%) said aching legs caused problems with their sleeping patterns.

A further 19% said they felt miserable because of aching legs, and 12% said they would avoid going out or cancel social activities.

The research found more women suffer from aching legs than men (73% compared to 65%).
The main reasons were standing for long periods (50%), not moving for long periods (31%) and poor circulation (30%).

Daylong found 20% of people blamed their age, whilst around 25% felt problems were caused by being overweight. Around 16% said intense exercise, like running, made the problem worse, while 11% said varicose veins were responsible.

Other reasons given for the cause of aching legs included carrying heavy weights (15%), sitting for prolonged periods (28%) and inactivity (24%).

The responses showed 79% people in Wales suffer from tired, aching legs – the most anywhere in the UK – followed by around 78% of people in the East Midlands and 77% in the North East.

Daylong found people in the South West, East of England and Yorkshire and Humberside were least likely to suffer tired legs.

Whilst 41% of those interviewed said they suffered in silence, that figure rose to more than 50% of those aged over 56.

“Leg problems are very common”, said Dr Rob Hicks, GP. “If left untreated, aching legs can lead to more serious problems, such as varicose veins and swelling in the legs.

“Lifestyle changes can help treat tired, aching legs, such as exercise, a good diet, and wearing compression socks.”

Around 46% of women said varicose veins stopped them exposing their legs in public, and 20% of men said the same.

Yet half of the respondents said they would avoid wearing compression hosiery because it was ‘unattractive or ‘unfashionable’.

Paul Grove, managing director of Daylong, said that was an outdated view.

“We definitely think aching legs and swollen ankles are less fashionable than a pair of normal-looking tights!” he said.

“For 15 years, Daylong has been at the forefront of compression hosiery in the UK. But we haven’t just innovated in better ways to provide compression – all our compression socks, compression stockings and hosiery look like normal, every-day clothing.

“Take a look for yourself: we think compression socks, stockings and hosiery from Daylong look great!”

Daylong offers free UK delivery on all compression hosiery products. For more information, visit


Notes to editors:

For further information, please contact Magda, marketing manager at Daylong, on +44 (0)7506902754, or email

*Unless otherwise stated, all statistics are from research carried out by Redshift Research on behalf of Daylong amongst 2,000 UK adults, March 2013.

About Daylong

Daylong is the UK’s leading retailer of graduated compression hosiery, selling tights, compression socks and stockings, and are experts in everything from high street support tights to high strength medical hosiery. Daylong has over 55 years’ experience in compression hosiery, and its products are used by leading surgeons and doctors in the UK. Online orders will be delivered within three to five working days, and orders can be placed over the phone on 0800 1950 160. There is a wealth of information about compression hosiery at, alongside excellent resources such as a compression classification chart, which helps users find the product most suitable for their needs.

About venous conditions

A venous condition, also known as venous disease, is a condition that affects the veins of the legs. Healthy veins have a series of valves which carry blood from the legs to the heart. If these valves fail to work properly, blood can flow backwards in the veins and pool in the legs leading to increased pressure in the veins. This causes problems such as leg heaviness, aching, varicose veins, swelling in the legs or leg ulcers.

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