Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Last Updated: August 17, 2020

Definition - What does Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) mean?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease. This syndrome causes discomfort in a person's legs, with a strong compulsion to move their legs. This is important to occupational health and safety because the symptoms can interfere with a restful sleep or impact individuals' ability to work, particularly in sedentary settings.

WorkplaceTesting explains Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

RLS is a neurological sensory disorder, with symptoms described as aches, pulls, itches or throbs. The uncomfortable sensations from RLS generally arise in the late afternoon to evening, manifesting at night with the most severe symptoms. These symptoms can be triggered over long periods of inactivity and can interfere with restful sleep.

Qualitative reports on RLS demonstrate an impaired concentration, inability to process memory, declined productivity in work and can be correlated with anxiety and depression, particularly if untreated. Symptoms can be partially alleviated through movement, ensuring iron levels are sufficient and through medications.

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