Under desk footrests boast a realm of benefits to your health. If you sit for long periods, you might be wondering are footrests worth it? This article unveils the many pros and cons to footrests. Plus, it helps you decide if under desk footrests are a good choice for you! So, stay tuned!
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Are footrests worth it?
Footrests are beneficial for people who have difficulty with their feet reaching the floor while they sit. Footrests also encourage an improved posture and greater comfort, particularly in your back, hips and legs. They also assist to increase blood circulation in people who sit for long periods. Footrests are generally not needed by tall people, unless there is a medical reason. For instance, knee pain that requires greater movement while sitting. Under desk footrests have a price range between $15.99 – $311+. This makes them affordable for most budgets.
Leg rests help increase blood circulation, improve your posture and reduce stress as you sit. Source
Most people are aware of setting up their upper posture to have their head looking forward and to avoid slouching. But many of us neglect to consider the ergonomic posture of our feet. Read on to uncover the pros and cons of footrests. Using these, you can get a thorough insight into whether footrests are worth the investment or not!
Advantages of footrests
1. Under desk footrests make sitting more comfortable
Many people are in jobs or perform tasks throughout their day which leave them in a sitting position for long periods. This constant static posture can be tiring on your legs and feet.
Discomfort is even more likely if your feet can’t properly reach the floor.
When resting your feet on a footrest, it provides cushioning to alleviate this pressure on your body, including your feet, hips and back.
Thus, it becomes a more comfortable experience to work at a desk for longer periods.
It also improves your posture, especially for people who use a desk or chair that is too large for them.
This benefit alone will do wonders for making you feel more relaxed as you sit at your desk, on a stool or even perched at a standing desk.
2. Under desk footrests reduce effects of sitting
Studies have shown that there are numerous negative health effects to sitting for long periods. This is due to the fact that sitting encourages a static posture. In addition, sitting reduces the amount of blood circulating throughout the body.
Footrests can encourage active sitting and thus increase the micromovements you make while you sit.
Some of the health benefits of using a footrest include:
- Increases blood circulation around the body
- Reduces the likelihood of back pain
- Improves your overall posture
- Relieves pain associated with poor posture
- Minimizes muscle tension
- Reduces stress levels
- Increases alertness and energy levels
- Increases productivity
When you’re in a seated posture, your body is more prone to slouching and adopting poor postures. However, with an under-desk footrest, you are oriented to sit in a more neutral stance.
The effects of adopting a poor posture include back pain, hip pain, foot discomfort, muscle fatigue and spinal curvatures.
3. Under desk footrests are budget-friendly
Under desk footrests have a price range between $15.99 – $311+. This makes them an affordable accessory. Even entry options should be within the reach of most budgets.
Plus, if you plan to share it with other people, you could split the cost and even splash out on one of the more lavish under desk footrests!
Cost might not even be a consideration if your employer is paying for it anyway!
Besides, if you decide you don’t like it or need it, there’s usually a 30 day return policy anyway!
4. Under desk footrests increase alertness and focus
It’s easy to get sluggish when you’re sitting on a chair, especially if you are tired or prone to slouching. But when you’re sitting on an under desk footrest, you are less likely to be slouched.
The massage rollers that are on the plastic footrests are used to massage your feet and increase blood flow to your lower extremities.
There are also dome-shaped footrests which can be flipped over and used as a foot rocker to encourage lower leg movement.
Rocker footrests and the massage rollers both encourage active sitting for increased lower limb movement and blood circulation.
This will further enhance your energy and productivity to keep you feeling more alert.
That said, footrests are not a replacement for getting up from your seat every 20 – 30 minutes.
Remember that you still need to move around regularly from your seat. Footrests are just a way of increasing your level of activity while you sit!
5. Under desk footrests can be used in many areas
Footrests are synonymous with use under a desk. But did you know that footrests are often used in a wide variety of other home and office settings?
That’s right! You could use them while doing other activities, bet it in the home or office, whether it’s:
- Perched while standing at a desk or counter
- Sitting on a stool
- Playing an instrument
- While gaming
- Sitting on the couch
You could even share the footrest with other coworkers, friends or family. Just remember the hygiene element, especially if you or someone will be using the footrest barefoot or in socks!
Would you share a footrest if you had one?
6. Under desk footrests come in different styles
Under desk footrests come primarily in two different designs, foam tear-shaped footrests and plastic angled footrests.
Footrests come in a variety of different shapes, heights, materials, sizes and colors. So, there’s bound to be one that suits your requirements.
Ultimately, each of them performs the same function. But wait till you discover what to look for in the perfect footrest.
Once you have read this, you will learn that there are some subtle, yet key differences that can be deciding factors between comfort and functionality.
Fortunately, you have several types of footrests to decide from. You just need to ensure that it has enough tilt and height adjustability to meet your personal requirements.
Here is an example of a height-adjustable footrest by Task Master which has a lifetime warranty that’s available on OfficeFurniture2Go.com.
7. Under desk footrests increase productivity
We already know that under desk footrests help to boost our productivity. An offset of this benefit is that you’re probably going to spend less time taking breaks from your static posture.
Further to that, if you feel more comfortable, you’ll spend less time thinking about your discomfort and more time will be spent completing meaningful work.
In addition to that, if you have to take time off work as a result of your discomfort or injury, that’s going to severely impact on your downtime and thus productivity.
Disadvantages of footrests
1. Under desk footrests can cause a trip hazard
Under desk footrests introduce a new accessory that you need to navigate around. Whether it’s placed under your desk or beside your chair or couch, it can be an object that someone could trip over.
Therefore, when using an under-desk footrest, be cautious of it when sitting into a desk, getting up from your chair and when storing it.
2. Under desk footrests can become damaged
Footrests are designed to withstand the weight of your feet resting on them. However, if you place too much force on them or try to stand on them, then it is liable to becoming damaged.
Very few leg rests have the weight limit provided. But once it is a good quality footrest and used for their intended purpose, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The way that you use the footrest could also result in damage to it.
If liquids or chemicals happen to fall onto a foam footrest, then it can cause stains or damage.
Furthermore, wearing shoes with sharp soles could damage or pierce the foam footrest.
Under desk footrests tend to have a long lifespan. But proper care and cleaning can make them last even longer!
Recommended product: Task Master Adjustable Footrest
3. Footrests can be poorly designed
Cheap or badly designed footrests can be more of a nuisance than a benefit. Footrests that lack a non-slip surface are prone to sliding around underneath your feet.
This makes it difficult to rest your feet on them.
Some foam footrests have zips on the covers which can scratch your floor. Also, if it’s sliding around the place, it could lead to further floor scratches.
Other issues you could face include flimsy parts and wobbly components which don’t stay still while your feet are on them. This may mean that your feet could be rocking around unsteadily.
In some instances, if they are a very poor or weak design, the parts could snap on a plastic footrest. For instance, you can see this is a common trend in the reviews of the Kensington SoleSaver.
Fortunately, this is usually only in exceptional circumstances. You’ll probably find out if this is an issue when you read the product reviews.
4. Under desk footrests can be too hard or soft
If you choose the incorrect type of footrest, it could lead to an uncomfortable experience.
Choosing a footrest that’s too hard tends to offer less comfort.
On the contrary, choosing an under-desk footrest which is too soft will offer less support to your body and it may ultimately cause your feet to sink into the footrest.
What’s also worth considering is if you would enjoy the feel of massage balls on your feet. If not, then you may be better off choosing a foam footrest.
Or alternatively, you could just wear shoes on the plastic footrest.
5. Under desk footrests require cleaning
The type of footrest material that you opt for will influence how easy it is to clean. Plastic footrests are very easy to clean. They usually just need a wipe of a cloth to remove any shoe marks or dust.
Foam footrests, on the other hand, come with a removable cover that can be machine washed.
Foam footrest covers won’t keep all the dirt and stains out though. If you spill something on it or have dirt on your shoe, it can seep past the footrest cover and into the foam itself.
To properly clean a footrest and to keep them clean, the surrounding floor and area should also be cleaned frequently.
Plus, keeping pets away from them, especially foam footrests, will minimize the number of hairs that become attached to the footrest.
Tip: If you intend to wear socks or go barefoot, cleaning will be less hassle than wearing outdoor shoes.
As you can see, the benefits of under desk footrests has just outnumbered the drawbacks of under desk footrests. There’s no denying that there are health benefits to using a footrest, particularly for shorter people who can’t reach the floor.
But how much value you place on each aspect listed above will ultimately determine if a footrest worth the investment for you.
Footrests are not the only accessory available to enhance your comfort and improve your posture, there are also balance boards and anti-fatigue mats too. Both of which are very popular.
If you need further information or would like to expand your knowledge further with fun and insightful facts about these, I have just the blog posts for you!
Here are some other useful articles I wrote that you should go check out:
- How To Choose A Footrest – A Fail Proof Guide!
- Balance board vs anti-fatigue mat – cheat sheet included
- How to choose an anti-fatigue mat – 16 essential factors
- How to maintain an anti-fatigue mat – 12 easy tips
- How to clean a balance board? 21 do’s & don’ts