If you’ve spent any time sitting at a desk, you’ve probably had to deal with a variety of issues at one time or another. Back pain, poor circulation, lack of productivity, or more.
Ergonomic chairs are extremely popular and can help with a range of those issues, but what about ergonomic footrests?
Often overlooked or not valued as much as a good chair, ergonomic footrests offer their own range of benefits. They can be used on their own with a standard office chair, or paired up with an ergonomic chair to get the most benefits possible.
Let’s take a closer look at the top five benefits you can get from using an ergonomic footrest at your desk.
Table of Contents
1/ Improves Circulation
Restricted blood flow is one of the main concerns people have when sitting at a desk for long hours.
Many chairs are not custom-tailored to each individual and can have issues that lead to poor circulation. This can include a seat that is too firm or the edge of the seat that presses into your legs more than it should.
If left untreated, poor circulation when sitting at a desk can lead to lower leg swelling, varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and other related health issues.
Most of the time, these issues arise when the back of your knee is pressed firmly into the edge of your chair. The large vein at the back of your leg is then compressed, and blood flow is restricted to some extent.
By using an ergonomic footrest, you can help relieve the pressure on the back of your legs. An ergonomic footrest will help raise your feet off the floor while also keeping them well positioned for pelvic comfort.
The backs of your knees will no longer be pressed into the edge of your seat, and as a result, your blood flow will be able to circulate freely in your lower legs.
In addition to getting up and taking regular breaks, this reduced pressure on the vein can relieve lower leg pain, numbness, and swelling.
2/ Improves Productivity
Sitting for long hours at your desk can cause discomfort, especially if you are unable to get up and move around often.
Taking short walks to the restroom, break room, or water cooler are great ways to get the blood flowing and help your muscles relax. But, in cases where this is not possible, pain and discomfort can start to set in.
Having aches or pain anywhere in your body can reduce your ability to focus on your work, and lead to a range of different distractions.
Whether it is simply the fact that you will spend more time moving around in your chair in an attempt to get comfortable, or that you are getting distracted by online media in an attempt to get your mind off the discomfort.
The simple addition of an ergonomic footrest can help relieve pain.
It not only helps raise your feet off the floor and improve blood circulation through your lower legs, it can also help align your pelvis and lumbar spine areas.
3/ Relieves Back Pain
As previously mentioned, having pain anywhere in your body can impact your levels of productivity. Back pain is an extremely common complaint from people that spend long hours sitting at a desk for work, school, or while gaming.
Much of the focus is placed on ergonomic chairs or standing desks, but ergonomic footrests can be an extremely beneficial tool to use when you want to target back pain.
Not only will using a footrest help align your pelvis and lumbar areas, but it can help align your entire spine comfortably.
Simply by lifting your feet up off the floor, your pelvis is adjusted to a more comfortable and natural angle. As a result, this provides a beneficial chain-reaction of aligning your lower spine.
When sitting naturally and comfortably, your spine should align in a gentle “S” curve.
Having your legs crossed under your chair, or stretched out in front of you, causes a misalignment in your pelvis, which in turn can either stretch or compress the rest of your lower spine.
If you are suffering from lumbar pain, adding an ergonomic footrest can provide almost instant comfort in your lower back.
4/ Improves Posture
It’s not uncommon to slouch when sitting at a desk. If your chair and desk are not perfectly customized to your individual shape and height, there may be times when you slouch forward over the desk to type or reach for things.
Over time, this slouching can have dramatic effects on your overall posture. Poor posture can lead to temporary pain as well as long-term spinal issues, including pinched nerves and compressed spinal discs.
Ergonomic chairs that are specifically customized to your unique proportions can go a long way in helping with your posture, but a good ergonomic chair can be extremely expensive.
If you are unable or unwilling to invest in a new chair, consider giving an ergonomic footrest a try.
Many ergonomic footrests can be slanted to suit your personal comfort levels, while also helping to balance your lower body in a more natural position.
This will have positive effects on your posture as well by aligning your spine, which in turn will change how your shoulders and neck naturally rest.
5/ Great for Shorter Individuals
If you are slightly shorter than average, making use of an ergonomic footrest is an excellent way to get the full benefits from your ergonomic chair or standard office chair.
One of the main complaints from shorter individuals is that their feet may not rest flat on the floor. This “dangling” of your feet can lead to unnecessary pressure on the back of the legs.
As a result of attempting to alleviate this pressure, some individuals will sit cross-legged in their chairs. While comfortable, this sitting position can affect the lateral tilt of your pelvis and cause your spine to be pulled to one side or the other.
By adding a footrest, you can have your feet fully supported and resting flat on the footrest. It not only prevents pelvic tilt, it also eliminates the pressure pain on the back of your legs from “dangling” over the edge of your chair seat.
While the spotlight may be on ergonomic chairs or standing desks, using an ergonomic footrest is an extremely effective and much more affordable option to consider.
Whether you are using an ergonomic footrest with your normal office chair, or adding an ergonomic footrest to use with your ergonomic office chair, the benefits can be great for your overall comfort as well as your productivity levels.
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.