Compression gear for... blue collar workers?

Compression gear for... blue collar workers?

Compression apparel... it's not just for elite athletes!

Have you been wondering what compression gear is for and why people wear it? We understand… If you're unfamiliar with the science of compression, you might see a pair of compression pants and think they’re just another pair of leggings. But really, compression pants are so much more!

The benefits of compression apparel go far beyond looking good. Studies show that compression gear can help improve athletic performance, proprioception and balance, and circulation, which in turn reduces swelling and inflammation. Less swelling and inflammation after activity = a faster recovery time, allowing athletes to progress faster in their training.

Athletic wear has been quite popular since the early aughts, but its popularity has been steadily increasing. Forbes and Just Style attribute this steady climb, projected to continue into 2025, with the COVID-19 pandemic, which they feel shifted attitudes about comfort and fitness. Those who buy activewear, also called athleisure for this reason, also often buy it for comfortable loungewear. According to SportsCasual.com, women in the United States, particularly ones who are interested in fitness and yoga, are the chief consumers of athletic wear.

A construction worker breaking up concrete. Construction and other manual labour trades can cause a lot of knee pain.

These statistics address a common misconception about sports wear and compression gear. Sometimes people think that compression wear is only for elite athletes, and that regular people who engage in an average or moderate amount of activity have no use for it. But the truth is, compression gear and its benefits are for everyone! What started as a treatment for varicose veins has developed into a massive industry, one that has really only begun to be studied. 

For example, we hear a lot from people who are active for work: on Ski Patrol, ski and snowboard instructors, and more. But believe it or not, we actually have a lot of team members who work in blue collar trade jobs!

When we looked into the demographics of who our pants are helping most, we were surprised to find trade workers among the top ranks. This is likely because when we think of the strongest and most active people, we are inclined to picture pro athletes, particularly heavy weight lifters or football players. It’s easy to overlook the everyday people who keep our world going, putting up buildings, mending roads, or fixing the roofs of our homes.

 

Manual Labour and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Due to both the repetitive strain and the amount of strenuous activity, some occupations are more susceptible to musculoskeletal injury and pain. Osteoarthritis is a massively widespread disorder and the The Centre for Disease Control writes that “mining, construction, agriculture, and sectors of the service industry” are the occupations at the highest risk for it. Indeed, this is likely because “these occupations are physically demanding/heavy labor tasks, lifting or carrying heavy loads, exposure to vibration, high risk of joint or tissue injury, and prolonged periods of working in awkward or unnatural postures such as kneeling and crawling.” Thus, a study from 2020 found that men in jobs requiring heavy manual labour are at a “twofold” risk for developing knee osteoarthritis.

Construction workers are particularly at risk for knee pain, being “the highest risk for joint pain and disorders of any occupation.” Ranking alongside construction workers for knee pain and knee injuries are carpet layers. In fact, did you know there is a condition often referred to as “carpet layer’s knee?” This condition is really called knee or prepatellar bursitis, which is when the inflammation of a small, fluid filled sac that is intended to reduce friction and cushion pressure points between your bones and the tendons occurs. If this condition becomes chronic, it may require a surgery called a bursectomy. (If you are a carpet layer, never fear! The CDC has a great guide on preventing knee injuries for you.)

 

A graphic of a pull quote showing a construction worker with a knee injury about to receive first aid, construction knee injury, construction worker knee pain, knee brace for under work pants, knee compression, compression knee sleeve, knee injuries at work, knee pain, joint pain

But what else can you do to prevent injuries? 

Well, when doing any sort of activity outdoors, keeping your joints warm and supported is proven to help reduce injury. Occupational cold exposure has been proven to increase risk for musculoskeletal disorders. So, if you’re working or playing outside, make sure to wear a good thermal base layer.

Taking breaks when possible and using proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is also essential for maintaining joint health at work. Use knee pads, good footwear, and other recommended supports.

Of course, we also have to recommend that tradespeople try our knee stabilizing compression pants. Bracelayer’s compression pants have built-in knee support for active people seeking to prevent or recover from knee injuries, reduce pain, and improve performance. Our compression leggings are proven to keep you on your feet for longer.

Did I mention that we have an Alpine collection of fleece-lined, thermal compression pants that are perfect for a base layer? Wear them outside all day long under your jeans or coveralls, or on their own, if you'd rather!

 

A graphic of Bracelayer's Tri-Tech knee support layer, what makes our compression pants so special! Our knee brace compression pants are unlike anything else on the market today -- try them now as a thermal base layer or on their own as compression leggings with knee support!

 

See what other tradespeople have to say about using Bracelayer® compression tights in their workplace:

  • I build cottages on boat access properties, which is very labour intensive. After a day of moving materials and mixing concrete, my back and shoulder (both shoulders surgically repaired) my body was hurting. I wore my Bracelayers the next day and noticed a considerable benefit from them. I continue to wear them now and am thankful for the support they give!” - Akhbar
  • “I’m an active person. I snowboard, skateboard, play hockey. I work in construction and did a year of hard Masonary work, where I was walking 20+ km a day. Couldn’t have done it without Bracelayer®! No more mucking around like a toddler with their pants to keep a knee sleeve up.” - Sev. 
  • "My job entails lifting heavy objects and going up and down ladders. I played soccer for years and my knees are shot. Can’t believe how these pants have enabled me to keep on working at my trade.” - Paul T.
  • "The KS1 Vent is incredibly versatile. I wear it to the gym and even under my work attire. It's like a second skin, providing knee support without sacrificing comfort.” - Fred W.
  • “I work construction and wear these under my jeans. My knees feel better by the end of the day for sure…” - Austin
  • "I have 2 pairs of pants full length Alpine for skiing and 3/4 length for summer sports. Both have been a game changer for my ability to play longer without fatigue or pain. As a ski coach, I’m on the hill for 6 hours a day all winter without experiencing any pain and without daily icing needed in past years. I now wear Bracelayer® pants for all physical activities, including construction work. They’re comfortable, supportive and very well made. Truly great product." - Gordon 
  • “The KX2 is my go-to for sports, but I'm in construction and [the KXV] will be great for under my work clothes.” - Kaleb
  • "As a concrete professional, durability and support are paramount. Bracelayer Apparel has been a game-changer for me on the job. Their knee braces offer incredible reinforcement without hindering movement, making long hours on concrete much more manageable. The thoughtful design and durable materials make Bracelayer a must-have for anyone in construction seeking reliable support and comfort throughout the day." - C.T.
* Reviews have been edited for length and clarity.

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