Ergonomics is the scientific study of different elements of a system or workstation and examining their impacts on human health. The results are applied to create a good working environment for workers eliminating any kind of risks.
A footrest on your chair comes to the rescue at this point as it allows your legs to be stretched out and helps them move freely, relieving any stiffness on them. The use of footrests promotes a correct and healthy sitting posture that is vital for improving productivity and the overall well-being of users. In this article, we will explain how footrest enhance ergonomics and how to select one for your office chair.
When to Use Footrests in the Office
The footrest is a piece of furniture or an attachment placed under a desk or workstation that not only provide support but also helps you to avoid pain in legs and feet while sitting. It is in the form of a raised platform or cushion generally made of wood, plastic, or metal. It helps to improve sitting posture and blood circulation in the body and is recommended to be used under the following conditions:
- If the height adjustment mechanism of your office chair is unavailable or faulty and you find trouble adjusting the chair to a lower height.
- If the working desk of your office can’t be adjusted to a lower height.
- If you have to sit for a long period at your desk and you are experiencing pain or swelling in your feet or legs.
- The need for a footrest becomes extremely important for people with a short height. Short people find it extremely difficult to maintain a good posture while sitting. The footrest is a true blessing for all such people as it allows them to sit in an ergonomically correct posture.
How Footrest Enhance Ergonomics
Footrest in an office chair enhances ergonomics in the following ways:
Increased Blood Circulation
One of the key ergonomic advantages of a footrest is that it increases blood circulation in your feet. A footrest keeps the feet and legs in an elevated position.
In this way, muscles in the legs are activated and they circulate the blood throughout the body. In a downward position, blood is accumulated in the legs which leads to varicose veins and other circulation disorders. The use of footrests eliminates the risk of all such issues. Higher blood circulation prevents the chances of stiffness, swelling, or pain in the legs. In addition, increased blood circulation is vital for higher productivity and performance levels.
Relieves Neck Pain
Although there is no direct link between footrest and neck pain. However, the use of footrests dramatically decreases the neck pain of users in several ways. First, it decreases the tension built in the neck due to prolonged sitting by allowing the user to change position now and then. Second, it improves blood circulation throughout the body including the neck and shoulders as well. Third, it promotes a good posture that allows your neck and back muscles to get relief from pain and stiffness.
Reduce Strain on Legs and Lower Back
Another benefit of footrests is that they take some of the load off your legs and feet and keep them comfortable when you’re working or resting. Due to the support provided by footrests, your feet and legs enjoy a relaxed position with no extra strain on them. In the absence of a footrest, many people feel extra pressure on their feet because they are constantly struggling to maintain a balanced position.
Better Sitting Posture
Footrests are very helpful in promoting good posture. A good posture is maintained when your feet are flat on the ground and your knees make a right angle. However, many people find it extremely difficult to keep their feet flat on the floor and stay comfortable at the same time. The use of footrest helps to raise the feet at a correct height which helps in maintaining a natural upright posture. A healthy posture improves the productivity and performance levels. It also has a positive impact on clients and colleagues interacting with you.
Reduces Risk of Discomfort and Injury
The use of a footrest with an office chair decreases the chances of any discomfort or injury associated with prolonged sitting. Footrests improve blood circulation which helps in decreasing any risk of blood clots or other circulation-related injuries. Footrest promotes a good sitting posture and thus eliminates risks of any strain or injury to the back, or shoulders. When a user continuously changes positions and moves his/her feet, the chances of muscle fatigue or tension are also eliminated.
Increases Productivity Levels
Last but not least, the use of a footrest makes your overall sitting experience more comfortable and healthy. This eventually leads to increased productivity and better output at work because now your lower body is considerably comfortable. So, you feel less tired and are able to focus better on your work.
How to Select the Right Footrest for Your Office Chair
Although it varies from person to person, there are certain considerations that you should put in when selecting the right footrest for your office chair:
- Buy a footrest that you can adjust at different heights and angles as per your body type and needs.
- The footrest you choose must be large enough to accommodate both your feet comfortably. This means that it needs to have a width supportive enough of both of your feet without any congestion and a length that can provide support for the entire feet.
- Some office chairs have a built-in footrest while others lack this feature. In the latter case, select a footrest that is compatible with your office chair model and brand. In this regard, you can go through the product guidelines or consult the manufacturer or a professional.
- It should be portable and lightweight so that you can easily carry it from one place to another.
- In terms of materials, metal and wood are more stable and durable options in contrast to cardboard or foam.
- It should be built of padded materials such as thick foam or fabric so that you get maximum comfort and support.
- Prefer a footrest with a non-skid footrest to eliminate the risks of slips and falls.
In sum, many people like office chairs with no footrest but some need support for their feet and legs, so they prefer footrests. But, it’s always a daunting task to pick up the right footrest that not only fits your office chair but aligns with your body requirements too. In case you’re buying a chair with a footrest, you should try the chair before buying it to find out how well it goes with your body type and requirements. But, if you’re buying a separate footrest, you should always check its compatibility with your office chair. We hope our article has helped you in your search.