The 10 Best Foot Rests
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in July of 2015. Now that extended sitting has been identified as a major health hazard, investing in a quality footrest is a must. These selections are ergonomically designed to alleviate pressure and improve posture, in turn promoting better circulation in your feet and lower legs. Some offer textured surfaces to prevent slippage, as well as heating, cooling, and massaging features for comfort. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 12, 2020:
When you're sitting at a desk for hours on end, you can help avoid leg, hip, and back pain with one of these sturdy, ergonomically designed footrests. Joining the selection today is the AmazonBasics Black, a budget-friendly choice that features a low profile that makes it easy to fit under virtually any table or desk. Its neutral color ensures it will blend right in with any office or home decor. The tilting platform is great for when you want to stretch your legs throughout the workday. Its textured surface soothes aching feet and won’t slide around, whether it’s on hard floors or carpets. In all, it can help minimize fatigue, increase leg circulation, and promote better posture and alignment. It replaces the Humanscale Foot Machine, which is not available at this time.
Moving into the top spot is the Office Ottoman Ergonomic, which is another model that allows for ample leg and knee clearance under desks and tables. It sports a comfortable and supportive half-cylinder shape, with hypoallergenic materials and a cover that’s machine washable.
Another top model is the Embody Care Office, which allows you to change both the height and the angle so you can dial in to the precise position that works for you. This makes it great for users of all heights. It’s lightweight and portable, so you can easily take it from your home to your office, and back again, as necessary. It also folds up for compact storage when you’re not using it.
For a comfortable chair to go with your foot rest, check out our list of best ergonomic chairs, which also will help you to sit properly aligned throughout the day.
Turnstone Campfire Footrest As small as it is, this handy piece of furniture has a big impact, as it supports the back of the legs in a variety of positions. It provides a convenient, comfortable place to prop up your feet, whether you’re working for hours at a desk or sitting down for an impromptu meeting. Its thoughtful cutout design allows you to reposition it easily with your feet, so no bending forward is necessary. It weighs just 2-1/4 pounds and ships fully assembled, and its plastic band is available in your choice of white, gray, green, red, or blue. myturnstone.com
Moda Furnishings Footrest with 2 Massage Balls Manufactured with a premium, high-density foam, this solid, one-piece mat features cushioned, anti-fatigue properties that you can feel as soon as you step onto it. It’s great for use at either a standing desk or a sitting desk, and is billed as a way to improve mood and energy, and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. It won’t absorb water, so it’s even suitable for use while you’re doing dishes at the kitchen sink. wayfair.com
The Importance Of Using A Foot Rest
You don't need us to tell you that you spend a lot of time — you'd probably say way too much — at your desk.
You don't need us to tell you that you spend a lot of time — you'd probably say way too much — at your desk. Chances are, you also don't need us to remind you of how terrible sitting down all day can be for your health.
If you're proactive about your health, you've likely tried to combat some of this, whether by purchasing an ergonomic chair or switching to a standing desk...but have you been ignoring your feet? Because it turns out that a footrest can be one of the best ways to improve your comfort and overall health while you're chained to your workstation.
One of the most important things a footrest can do is keep your lower body in proper position, so that correct overall posture is maintained. They help to elevate your hips over your knees, taking pressure off your lower back and hips.
They also encourage improved circulation. If you remain sedentary all day, blood can pool in your feet and ankles. This can lead to circulatory problems like edema, or even blood clots if you don't move around occasionally. By elevating your feet, you discourage any pooling from taking place, and many footrests rock or otherwise move, keeping the blood flowing and your muscles engaged.
Beyond that, they can just flat-out feel good, especially if your office dress code requires you to wear shoes that are more stylish than comfortable. They keep your feet in a relaxed, neutral position, making them especially helpful for ladies who have to wear heels that elevate their arches all day long.
So, while a footrest is far from essential, if your body's angry with you after a long day of sitting, it might be worth giving one a try. Just be prepared for the possibility that you won't be able to go back to life without one.
How To Make Your Office As Ergonomic As Possible
If you're going to spend 40 hours each week for the bulk of your life at work (sorry for that depressing imagery), then you might as well make it comfortable.
It's not just important for your own comfort, either. Putting yourself in a bad working environment increases the risk that you'll develop some sort of musculoskeletal disorder, and those can be expensive — for both you and your employer.
Speaking of which, you should bring that up to your boss, and see if your company will provide you with ergonomic furniture, or at least reimburse you for providing your own.
One that rolls and swivels is ideal, as this can keep you from contorting your back in painful ways.
So what do you need? The most important thing is a high-quality chair. Make sure that the cushion is comfy, the arm and back rests are adjustable, and that it provides plenty of lumbar support. One that rolls and swivels is ideal, as this can keep you from contorting your back in painful ways.
Be aware, however, that most really good chairs aren't cheap. That's why you should ask the higher-ups for help — but even if they say no, it might still be worth the investment for your long-term health (as would looking for a new job, come to think of it).
Your desk is also important. As mentioned before, a standing desk is preferred, but if you don't want one, just make sure your sitting desk keeps everything within easy reach, and that your arms are level with the surface — this is where the adjustable chair and footrest come in handy, as well.
Keep all your frequently-used items close at hand, and swap them out with more ergonomic models if possible (for example, if you talk on the phone a lot, get a headset instead of cradling the receiver between your ear and neck). Make sure your sight lines are clear and don't require you to crane your neck, and try not to subject yourself to too many harsh lights.
Breaking bad posture habits can be difficult at first, and it requires being conscious of your behavior. However, if you can replace those bad habits with good ones, it will pay massive dividends over the course of your life.
After all, the last thing you want to do is retire, only to find out you're in too bad of shape to do all the things you daydreamed about doing for the last 40 years.
Other Ways To Take The Strain Off Your Feet
If your dogs are barking every time you get home from work, and you don't have any furry friends waiting for you at the door, then it may be time to re-think your relationship with your feet.
The first thing you should do is find suitable footwear. Much of this will be determined by what's allowed by your office's dress code, but it is possible to find comfortable dress shoes — you may just have to spend more time looking.
If, however, your company allows you to wear casual footwear, find a pair that you feel great in.
If, however, your company allows you to wear casual footwear, find a pair that you feel great in. There's quite a bit of debate as to what, exactly, constitutes a quality sneaker — with lots of disagreement over how much arch support is necessary in particular — so you should probably rely on your own judgment to find one that works for you.
Keeping your feet limber is also essential. This means getting up and walking around periodically if you're sitting all day, and doing exercises (like yoga) that stretch the feet. You can also do workouts that are specifically designed to strengthen your foot, which should go a long way towards easing your pain.
Unfortunately, there's probably no way to guarantee that you can be free of foot pain, but by taking a few preventative measures, you can reduce both the likelihood and severity of any discomfort.
Combine that with pampering methods like massages and foot spas, and you have a pretty good recipe for happy, healthy tootsies.