Researchers say that wearing compression stockings to exercise could benefit everyone from top level runners to casual walkers.
Dr Ajmol Ali, a sport and exercise scientist at Massey University’s Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, plans to study how compression stockings benefit the performance of runners.
Graduated compression support hosiery and socks are the medically accepted way to relieve minor or more serious leg pain related to swelling, venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins or other conditions.
Dr Ali said previous studies had found some benefits, notably some reduction in post exercise soreness, but there was more for science to discover about the effects and benefits of wearing the stockings during exercise.
The benefits of the stockings for vascular problems and for post operative recovery were well established, he said , but otherwise research on their impact on performance had so far been haphazard.
“We would like to know more about these stockings helping to prevent the soreness that runners feel after exercising,” he said.
Dr Ali said wearing compression stockings may have implications not just for athletes but also for people who may be afraid of doing regular exercise because they fear from past experience that they will be in pain afterwards.
He intends recruiting elite athletes to take part in the study.