Research finds motorcycle riding position is a contributory factor in lower limb venous disease


New research [1] has found that the riding position of motorcyclists is a contributory factor in lower limb venous disease and the development of venous ulceration. However, according to a survey, 60 per cent of motorcyclists would not consider wearing compression hosiery which can prevent lower leg problems, despite two-in-five motorcyclists complaining of cramps and leg pains after riding.

The survey was carried out by the Lindsay Leg Club Foundation (LLCF), a national charity, set up to increase awareness of lower leg problems and alleviate suffering through a network of over 24 Leg Clubs in the UK. Over a period of four years, motorcyclists attending British Motorcycle Federation (BMF) shows were invited to complete a questionnaire on motorcycle usage, attitudes to risk, and lower-limb health.

Immobility and extended periods of standing or sitting leading to the development of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) during long-haul flights has been recognised for some time, but little attention has been paid to the risks of long-term, or long distance motorcycle riding and the impact on circulation in the lower limbs.

Ellie Lindsay, founder and lifetime president of the LLCF, said:

“Our finding that only four out of every ten respondents would wear compression hosiery despite an explanation of the immediate benefits they provide is a concern. There are more than 1.5 million motorcyclists in the UK and the Leg Club Foundation has found targeting this predominately male, mixed-age group challenging. Many male motorcyclists quoted the ‘Nora Batty’ look as a deterrent for using compression socks/hosiery, but advances in stocking designs means that graduated compression hosiery looks and feels like regular men’s socks and are available in a range of colours, including black.”

The Lindsay Leg Club Foundation also provides some general advice for motorcyclists and their passengers on the maintenance of healthy legs at: