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Water retention is a general term that often refers to the medical condition edema, a build-up of fluid — such as water or blood plasma — in the body cavities or tissues. Water retention can be a temporary problem or point to a serious underlying condition. It may occur anywhere in the body, depending on the trigger, and identifying and treating the illness or disease that causes it can often resolve edema.

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1. Prolonged Sitting

In some people, sitting for too long can cause water retention upon standing or changing positions. When people sit with both feet on the ground for a long period, gravity causes rapid blood flow into the legs, resulting in fast swelling, initially. The fluid then begins to pass into the tissues from the vascular system. The best treatment for this cause of edema is frequent movement and shifting.

Water Retention Edema Prolonged Sitting Goodboy Picture Company / Getty Images
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