Height adjustable, textured surface, anti-slip, with memory foam or platform tilts? Which are the best footrests to enhance well-being, comfort and productivity in the home office or work-place? In this blog, we answer your questions about the benefits of footrests for improving your posture while working and share our innovative and versatile take on the classic footrest.
What is an ergonomic footrest?
Usually placed under the desk, ergonomic footrests allow shorter people to sit with their feet planted on a firm surface as they work. The set-up of your footrest should be tilted to maximise proper posture and comfort. Some are height adjustable, featuring a textured surface, memory foam or rockable platform.
Are footrests worth it?
At first glance, a footrest may not seem that relevant in terms of daily business operations. However, this simple addition can make all the difference when it comes to the impact the placement of your feet has on your muscles, joints and even circulation. When it comes to workplace or home office safety and injury prevention, the saying: "Prevention is better than cure", could not be closer to the truth.
Whether you sit, stand, or do a mix of both throughout the day, a footrest can be an absolute game-changer for your comfort and overall well-being.
A user-friendly footrest keeps the body in an upright posture and prevents the legs from hanging uncomfortably. Blood flow and circulation increase, thus lowering the chances of limb pain, stiffness, and developing varicose veins or blood clots.
When would you use a footrest?
If your seat is too high for you to rest your feet flat on the floor — or the height of your desk requires you to adjust the height of your chair — use a footrest. To get the maximum benefit from an ergonomic workchair, you need to be seated with your feet flat on the floor, which can be difficult to do when you’re a small person. But a footrest lets shorter users keep their feet flat and their weight properly distributed, even if their chair can’t get low enough to let them touch the floor.
Do I need a footrest at my desk?
When shopping for an ergonomic chair, an adjustable desk, or a full ergonomic set-up, it can be easy to focus on your lumbar, shoulders and neck, overlooking what's happening below the seat. However, if your feet and legs aren't properly supported then you could end up harming your circulation and causing long-term health problems.
By reducing pressure on your legs, a footrest can help to prevent blood clots related to deep vein thrombosis, relieve pressure on the lumbar, and decrease swelling and varicose veins. Is your chair missing a waterfall edge? In that case, a footrest is an absolute must to cut down on the discomfort and circulation problems that can crop up when sitting for extended periods of time.
How do I choose the best footrest?
When selecting your footrest product, choose based on comfort, rockability, stability, durability and ease of care. A quick google search or scroll on Amazon will show dozens of options for adjustable, non slip, comfortable footrests. But which one will be the best design for your purpose? We've read the reviews and come up with a simple checklist for you. Here are the top five aspects that should support your decision:
Comfort: Your legs and feet should feel better almost immediately compared to not utilising a footrest, and your entire body should feel more supported. You should be able to angle your feet and legs in a comfortable and strain-relieving position. The materials your foot rest is made from should also provide comfort, such as natural wood or memory foam.
Rockability: Platform tilts or rounded shapes which allow the user to shift their weight back and forth are found in top performing footrests. The smoother the rocking, the easier it is to bring movement to your position, allowing you to avoid a static posture for long periods of time. If the footrest is clunky or noisy as it rocks, it will take your attention away from your job.
Stability: A footrest is for placing your feet on, not chasing your feet about beneath your desk. Anti-slip grips or a non-skid surface are best for keeping your footrest firmly in place.
Durability: Ensure your footrest is made from products and materials that are durable as well as comfortable.
Ease of care: A strong footrest can withstand repeated use. Look for one that can be cleaned with little fuss.
Do footrests help posture?
When using a footrest that is positioned correctly beneath the desk, it helps place the body in the correct body posture to minimise risk of future injury or pain. Footrests improve body alignment and reduce discomfort by facilitating more ergonomic postural angles and support through the entire body.
A chair height that is too high for the user may lead users to sit cross-legged instead of with their feet on the floor. As noted in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, sitting with your legs crossed for "longer than three hours per day may cause shoulder inclination, lateral pelvic tilt and forward head posture".
Because a footrest encourages movement of the feet and ankles when seated, the user is less likely to stay in an entirely static position for long periods of time. Static posture is one factor in developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A rockable footrest can ensure micromovements of the toes, feet and ankles encourage venous return and reduce blood pooling.
Studies suggest sedentary workers should modify their posture so that they mix sitting, standing, leaning, and use a foot rail or footrest as much as possible.
Poor seated posture can lead to aches and pains from head to foot. Along with ergonomic chairs and lumbar-support cushions, chiropractors say a simple footrest can make a big difference in getting you into alignment.
Does a footrest help back pain?
Sitting at a desk for hours and hours can be extremely uncomfortable. Extended periods of sitting can also increase strain on your lower back and this is a particularly common source of lower back pain.
To prevent the issues associated with sedentary jobs that require you to be seated for hours on end, you will be surprised to know that even improving your feet placement can help your posture.
If you want to improve your posture and reduce lower back pain when sitting you may find an ergonomic footrest helpful.
Does a footrest help knee pain?
Office environments in particular can often be hard on the knees. While you might not think it, sitting down for an eight hour shift can actually be a very stressful position to maintain, especially on your joints like those in your back and knees.
At what angle should a footrest be?
When you're working at your desk and want to make proper use of a footrest, it is best to set it under your desk, straight in front of you. You have an ergonomic work posture when you make a 90-degree angle with your legs. This means that your lower legs are vertically aligned and your upper legs horizontally. When your feet don’t reach the floor that puts extra stress on the sciatic nerve, which extends down from the lower back and branches out to the back of each leg. Compressing the nerve can lead to pain everywhere, from the back to the glutes, hamstrings, and IT bands. As chiropractor Cariann Paul explains, the ideal stance is one that "imposes the least amount of stress, and a footrest is a great solution if you don’t have that perfect configuration".
What is the best way to sit at a desk all day?
More and more studies are revealing that extended time sitting still is simply not good for you. Fortunately, a footrest can be a great option to coax movement, mobility and active sitting.
Which footrest is best?
A height adjustable, ergonomic foot rest that has the capacity to rock back and forth is best for those working at their desks for extended periods of time.
What is a stone set foot rest?
At Wilson & Dorset, we believe in switching up traditional static furniture systems to embrace a freer way of work and play. That's why we recommend a stone set to invigorate your workplace, whether that's at home, in commercial office space or educational institutions. With a stone set, you have a foot rest and so much more. These sculptural sheepskin floor cushions come in sets of three, designed to fit your natural bends and curves. Firm enough to be used as a floor seat, ottoman or footstool yet soft enough to cosy up and lay your head on at the end of a busy workday.
With a lush 12mm short wool surface, the delicious texture of one of our stones makes this unconventional foot rest choice a pleaser in terms of look, form and function. Available in the rich brown-black we call Glen Dene, sandy white Dublin Bay, golden tussock Lindis color, or muted mid-brown Pisa, there is a hue to suit any workplace and style.
How can I make the most out of my stone set footrest?
Depending on the height and requirements of the user, the smallest stone in the set can be used for your feet, providing the added benefit of luxurious wool next to your toes.
The medium and largest stones are perfect for throwing down to create a quiet nook of Zen for a microbreak from those incessant emails and meetings. For workplace wellbeing, a stone set can provide an oasis of calm in an increasingly hectic world.
There are a lot of foot rests on the market that can help you keep in great form at your work desk. When deciding between products, make sure your foot rest is adjustable, comfortable, with a design that works best for you. If you're looking for a product that moves beyond the classic footrest to instead add a versatile sculpted stone to your decor, a stone set might just be the design made with you in mind.