Keeping a good posture while standing or sitting is hard. Luckily, we have footrests that make the task easier. But are footrests good for your posture?
Simply put, footrests are great for improving posture as they give users a much-needed extra lift from the floor. Besides, footrests improving posture is only the tip of the iceberg as they can do so much more for you.
Today, bad posture is being linked to more and more health problems, such as:
- Chronic Back Pain.
- Repeated Stress Injury.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- And other MSDs (musculoskeletal disorders)
That’s why you should use a footrest to improve your posture because it has many untold benefits, which we will look at later.
In this article, we will answer questions like Are footrests good for posture? Why are footrests ergonomic? Benefits of under desk footrests, and more.
Table of Contents
- So What Is a Footrest?
- Are Footrests Good for Posture?
- Why Are Footrests Ergonomic?
- Benefits of Under Desk Footrests.
- When Should You Use a Footrest?
- How To Pick The Right Footrest?
So What Is a Footrest?
A footrest is a piece of ergonomic furniture, usually placed under your desk to improve your comfort, posture, and minimize your risk of injury.
Humans have used footrests ( they used to be called footstools) throughout history, with some of the earliest accounts being found in Ancient Egypt .
Clearly, footrests have something important to offer since they have been around for so long.
Nowadays, footrests come in all shapes and forms, ranging from four-legged ottomans to plushy, loaf-shaped footrests. But how are footrests good for your posture? Let’s find out in the next section.
Are Footrests Good for Posture?
Absolutely! Footrests are good for your posture.
They can improve your posture in one of two ways, which are:
When Sitting Down:
Footrests help you get into and keep a good sitting posture by giving you an ergonomic surface to rest your dangling feet.
They are also useful for sitting with a straight back as they give you a sturdy, non-slip surface to push your back against the chair’s backrest.
When Standing Up:
While footrests can help your standing posture, the benefits they offer pale in comparison to using a footrest when seated.
Even if you consider this, using a footrest is still better than not using one because they make it easier for you to stand for long periods.
How? Because they make it easy to switch between comfortable standing postures, which distributes the burden across different muscle groups and joints.
So it’s clear that using a footrest is great for obtaining and maintaining a good sitting or standing posture.
Suppose you want to improve your posture even further. In that case, you can consider setting up a fully ergonomic workstation that includes other pieces of the ergonomic puzzle, such as ergonomic keyboards, mice, mousepads, etc.
Why Are Footrests Ergonomic?
Footrests are ergonomic because they are designed to be that way. Their sole purpose is to raise the user’s comfort while easing their discomfort and proneness to injury.
This purpose lines up perfectly with the principles of ergonomics, which are to:
- Work in Neutral Comfortable Postures.
- Minimize the need for excessive force.
- Work at proper heights.
- Keep targets within easy reach.
- Reduce the need for repetitive or exaggerated movements.
- Keep a constant level of movement and activity.
Since footrests promote the adoption of ergonomic principles in the office, we can safely call them ergonomic.
Benefits of Under Desk Footrests.
As said before, footrests offer their users many benefits that make them worth buying. Amongst the benefits, improving posture is only one of the major reasons people buy them.
Some people buy ergonomic footrests to protect their health, while others buy footrests to treat or relieve their symptoms.
As you will see below, under desk footrests have a host of benefits.
Here are the benefits of improving posture with footrests:
1) Makes Good Posture Easier.
Users can adjust the angle and height of a footrest. This makes it easy for you to set the footrest at a height and angle which is most comfortable for your unique stature.
In addition, footrests come with non-slip surfaces that make it easy to maintain a good posture over a long period.
2) Ideal For Shorter People.
Shorter people often have trouble finding furniture or tools that cater to them. For instance, short people find it hard to reach the pedals in a regular car.
That’s why footrests are a welcome addition in the workplace as they give shorter people floor-like leverage they can use to balance themselves in their seats.
Additionally, footrests help companies save money by avoiding buying special furniture for short employees.
3) Eases Leg and Foot Swelling.
Most female workers and a smaller section of their male counterparts experience leg swelling when they are sitting or standing.
Fortunately, using footrests set at a 30° angle helps relieve their swelling. As a result, they feel more comfortable and, by extension, more productive!
When Should You Use a Footrest?
Different people need to use footrests for different situations. As such, you might not know if you really need a footrest.
That’s why we compiled a list of situations where we recommend using a footrest.
You should use a footrest if:
- After setting your chair height to match your desk, your feet cannot touch the floor.
- After sitting on your chair, your feet cannot fully sit flat on the floor.
- When sitting on your chair, the back of your thighs is pressed tightly to your seat.
- You have to slump or slide in your chair to sit comfortably.
- If you often have to stand for long periods.
- You suffer from leg and foot swelling. You will need a tiltable footrest.
- You need to increase leg activity. Though, you will need a special footrest that has a rocking feature.
How To Pick The Right Footrest?
Footrests come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. So before you begin the hunt, you need to know why, where, and how you will use your footrest.
For example, suppose you need a portable footrest to carry from one workstation to another. In that case, a heavy steel footrest will hamper your workflow. Instead, a lightweight foam-based footrest is more suitable for that situation.
Or, for instance, if you are a heavy person, a plastic footrest will probably not last long due to your extra load. A steel-based footrest might be more suitable for the occasion.
Another scenario is if you are looking for a footrest that will improve your leg activity, a static footrest will not do you any good. A rocking or flexing footrest is better!
So you can see that by knowing the answers to why, where, and how you can avoid making mistakes when buying.
5 Qualities Of The Right Footrest
- Suitable: The footrest you pick must be ideal for your purpose. For example, if you need a footrest that can change angles, you need a tiltable footrest
- Easy to Maintain: A footrest should be easy to keep clean or wash.
- Durable: Buying a footrest is a long-term investment meant to protect your health or improve it. Therefore, the right footrest should be made from sturdy materials that give it a long lifespan.
- Adjustable: People are different, so the right footrest should not come in a fixed one-size-fits-all design. Besides, you might need to frequently adjust your footrest to suit your changing environment or state.
- Comfortable: This is the most important quality of a footrest. When you start using a footrest, you should notice a marked improvement immediately. Otherwise, the footrest isn’t worth it.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.