Ergonomic equipment has completely transformed offices, making them exceptionally comfortable for the employees. Be it a standing desk such as FlexiSpot’s Pro Standing Desk (E3/E5) or a highly breathable chair with lumbar support, ergonomic furniture has taken the world of furnishings by storm, and rightly so!
Witnessing the many benefits of ergonomics in the office, more and more people have started using ergonomic essentials to make work life easier. And while that holds for pretty much all ergonomic items, some articles remain unpopular despite having incredible advantages. On top of that list is the good old ergonomic footrest.
Ergonomic Footrests: Benefits and Factors That Make Them So Good For the Body
Even though the benefits of under-desk footrests are plenty, most workers continue to live oblivious to those. But not anymore because in this article, we go over all the advantages of said accessory and layout reasons you should consider using a footrest.
1. It Improves Posture
As surprising as it may be, a footrest fixes posture and helps users maintain the correct stance when seated for hours working at their desks.
Many times, an office chair can be unfit for the sitter's height, leading them to let their feet dangle or cross their legs. Either way, your posture is compromised.
Naturally, when someone sits with their legs crossed, they are more likely to go slack and droop their shoulders. In simple terms, they let their posture go crooked, resulting in back pain and many other medical concerns.
2. It Improves Blood Flow and Reduces Stress on Nerves
When we sit in an incorrect posture continuously for hours on end, such as sitting cross-legged, our feet and even calves start prickling (aka fall asleep) due to disrupted blood flow and stress on nerves.
Similarly, when someone has their feet dangling mid-air, they exert unnecessary pressure on nerves, which causes numbness, swelling, and a case of tingling feet.
With an ergonomic footrest to support your feet, you get more opportunities to rest them and change your position every hour or so, which enhances blood circulation in your lower body.
3. It Impedes Postural Fixity
Postural fixity is the name given to sitting in one position, i.e., static posture, for long durations, and that is bad for human health.
It is known to cause deep vein thrombosis or DVT, which is why slight movements of different parts, such as feet and toes, are essential to keep the blood flow going throughout the legs. If you don't often move when working at your desk, your blood will pool, causing numbness in different parts of your body, primarily your legs and feet.
And that is one of the most important reasons why an ergonomic under-desk footrest is a must-have office accessory. Unless you want your feet to fall asleep or not get enough blood, you should get a footrest.
4. It Makes Users More Comfortable
Nobody likes to leave their feet hanging from knee-down because their chair’s height is too high for them. You must be thinking, ‘well, then we can simply bring it down’… ehh wrong answer because then you will not have the monitor on your eye level, which will strain your eyes.
For people who have trouble adjusting their office chair according to their height or simply don't know where to rest their feet when working at their desk, an ergonomic footrest offers the perfect solution.
It keeps users comfortable in their seats while also providing them various opportunities to move their feet (more on that later). With enhanced comfort, employees are more likely to focus singularly and do their very best on the job. In other words, comfortable workstations mean high productivity.
5. It Encourages Active Sitting
As the name implies, active sitting refers to incorporating some form of movement while seated. Practicing it is excellent for improving blood flow and minimizing compression on nerves. That’s where ergonomic footrests work like magic and give people an avenue for micro-movements.
You might be thinking that how beneficial micro-movements can possibly be? Well, a lot! As discussed above, postural fixity is unhealthy and can lead to blood clots inside veins. These blood clots can be dangerous if left unaddressed. However, you can prevent them from developing with the tiniest movement, such as wiggling your toes.
People who sit with their feet down all day long are prone to building blood clots in a specific set of veins deep inside the muscles, which is obviously not good for the body. If they keep changing positions every once in a while and practice active sitting (move their feet and legs), they can go around the said medical condition. And ergonomics can help with that.
While rocking footrests are available in the market, the most basic models can also give you chances to move your feet. Naturally, when you continue to be in the same position, you will want to shift your stance, and one way of doing that would be to place your feet on the footrest. And if they are already on the ergonomic accessory, you can change the placement.
Moreover, you can keep your feet off the footrest for a bit-in any case; you will be mobilizing your feet.
6. It Prevents Stiffness in Hip Muscles
When we sit uncomfortably at a height unsuitable to our physique, our hip muscles tighten, causing discomfort in the backside. But with an ergonomic footrest, you can adjust the angle and height at which you rest your feet, which will prevent your hips from locking.
How often do you feel your tailbone hurting after working at your computer for hours? Or how often do you feel as though your hips have gone numb or started tingling after a busy day at work? If you answered the above questions with anything like ‘frequently’ or ‘more often than I’d like,’ you need a footrest.
You may not realize it, but your stiff bottom is related to your poor posture, which can be fixed with an ergonomic footrest.
7. It Allows Stretching
One of the most commonly given ergonomic tips is stretching to relieve some of the tension in your muscles after overworking. But what people don’t realize is that doing so at the office is not easy unless you want your coworkers to see you with questionable eyes.
While you cannot get into complicated stretch positions, you can stretch your back, calves, and ankles along with your neck and arms. For your neck and arms, you don't really need support, but for your ankles and calves, you can use some form of accessory, like an ergonomic footrest.
Adjust the height of your footrest and place your feet on top. Bring your extremities towards the top, sticking the balls of your heels out. Repeat this movement multiple times to feel a burn in your legs.
8. It Provides Multiple Working Positions
Sitting in one position with your feet planted on the floor, thighs parallel to the ground, and back straightened against your chair's lumbar support can (and does) get tiring after a while. This means you will want to shift your stance to find a different, more comfortable sitting style, which is something an ergonomic footrest will allow you to do.
Many people assume that a footrest can only be used to place the feet for relaxing. While that’s one of the usages of an ergonomic footrest, it’s certainly not the only one. You can use the incredibly useful essential to change positions every other hour.
Let's say one hour you sit with your feet straight facing the ceiling, and the next, you have them sideways in a more comfortable position.
Long story short, you can use your ergonomic footrest in multiple ways and yield maximum benefit.
9. It Gives Users a Surface to Distribute Weight When Working At a Standing Desk
Working at standing desks has become a trend in the corporate world for it facilitates people to keep their muscles active and engaged. However, it comes with drawbacks, such as worn-out feet due to continuously holding up the body's weight. In such circumstances, a person's natural desire is to shift their weight between the two feet, which they can do if they have a footrest under their desk.
Imagine you are standing at a bar, waiting for your drinks and none of the stools are vacant, so you stand a while. However, you'll notice that after some time, you'd almost involuntarily want to place one of your feet on the rail of a bar stool. Do you know why that is? Because that's an inherent urge, people get to shift their weight between their feet.
Simply put, if you work at a standing desk, a footrest will give you a plane to put your foot one after another to rest each alternatively.
An ergonomic footrest does a lot more for you than giving you a place to rest your feet. Give this fantastic piece of equipment a try and keep a model under your desk. Once you start using it, you will notice a significant reduction in the stiffness of your legs and your overall muscles.