Top Footrests for Office Desks
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As the descendants of decorative ottomans and footstools, foot rests were meant to provide support for your feet while sitting in your favorite armchair. Now they can add ergonomic bonus points to your office setup and relieve sitting strain while working.
A footrest delivers a variety of health benefits to the average office worker. It allows you to distribute your weight evenly while sitting, keeping your feet firmly planted and flat on the surface, which makes it more comfortable and ergonomic. It also improves blood circulation in the legs, which may prevent blood pooling and clots as well as relieve lumbar pressure. Shorter users and those who are at risk of blood circulation diseases can especially benefit from a foot rest. But the benefits extend beyond just sitting.
Foot Rest Benefits
Since prolonged standing is associated with a host of negative health effects such as low back and heel pain, blood pooling in the legs, varicose veins, increased pressure in the veins and increased oxidative stress (both of which might increase the risk of cardiovascular disease), we recommend switching among standing, sitting, walking, and leaning positions every hour. But standing is still an integral component of a healthy work day. So how can we make standing healthier?
A footrest can become a weapon in the fight to stay upright without causing yourself negative health effects. While it will never replace an anti-fatigue mat (which is crucial for promoting blood circulation and better posture if you stand for more than 20 minutes at a time), it can help with distributing your weight properly. You probably notice that while standing the majority of your body weight tends to rest on just one leg while the other leg remains idle. Unless you’re moving every couple of minutes or using a balance board or an active mat, this may take toll on your hip and knee joints.
With a footrest you can better distribute your weight, shifting your center of gravity from your supporting leg and allowing you to take some weight off the load-bearing hip joint. A footrest also promotes body adjustments (switching legs), which improve blood circulation and break up your stationary position, if only slightly.
The price range for footrests starts as low as $8—that’s if you’re buying a cheap foot hammock (yes, they’re real). The priciest (but not necessarily the nicest-looking) footrests will run you $150. And you can find a lot of interesting options (both visual and functional) in between. Take a look for yourself:
Size: 16.75” W x 12.25” D x 4.5” H
Construction: die-cast aluminum legs, molded plywood platform, steel foot stop, rubber grips
Colors: Cherry (natural wood), black
Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Summary: The Humanscale FootMachine FM500 Foot Rest is the perfect footrest in almost every department. It makes your workstation more ergonomic, it allows you to move your legs, promotes blood circulation, and it looks simply beautiful. The only issue users experience is the rubber grips coming off of its die-cast aluminum legs, which makes the footrest slippery on the floor. All in all, though, this is a category-defining product that also makes for a wonderful gift.
Size: 16”W x 11.88”D x 3.75-6.75”H
Construction: Steel and hardwood
Colors: Natural and Dark Cherry
Warranty: 15 Years, 24/7 Warranty
Summary: The Humanscale FM300 is an improvement on the brand’s first foot rocker. It comes with a sturdier steel frame and ball bearing rollers that give it a rocking motion. The deck isn’t attached to the frame, so the footrest may accidentally come apart while in use, but it requires no assembly. A sole massager version makes it the more attractive model of the three in Humanscale’s line up.
Size: 15.7″ W x 10” D x 3.5”-5.1” H
Colors: Gray and black
Warranty: 15-year limited warranty and 100-day, 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Summary: iMovR’s Standing Desk Foot Rest is a simple yet versatile product that may not be as attractive as some of its competitors, but does what it advertises—provides comfort while sitting and standing, and accommodates users of various heights. Its lightweight and foldable design is easily portable while its anti-fatigue surface adds extra comfort for those with sensitive heels or dress shoes.
Construction: Metal and plastic
Colors: Black, blue
Warranty: 1-year warranty, 100% Money Back Guarantee
Summary: This NEAT-certified under desk leg swing is another unique product in the footrest category. Designed by personal trainer Jon Godoy and rehabilitation doctor Ron Mochizuki MD., this unconventional foot swing promotes activity and makes you burn 20% more energy even while sitting. The main issue with the product is that its foot pads tend to come off easily. But if you’re looking for a good alternative to desk cycles, this could be it. The Hovr’s design promotes freestyle movement that’s easier on the knees.
Price: $59 for Hovr with desk mount $119 for Hovr with floor stand
Size: 20″ L x 8″ D x 4″ H
Construction: Therapeutic Grade Memory Foam, washable fabric cover
Warranty: 100% Money Back Guarantee
Summary: Desk Jockey Office Footrest comes from the subcategory of cushion footrests. Made out of therapeutic grade memory foam, it’s soft and cushy, which is always welcome for heel pain sufferers. Thanks to its semi-elliptical shape, it also provides adequate arch support, although users with large feet might find it too small. Due to significant give in the foam, this footrest compresses to around two thirds of its original height, so if you require a tall footrest (above 4”), you might want to look elsewhere.
Size: 19”W x 11.75”D x 3.38”H
Construction: Steel and hardwood
Colors: Light wood with black stripes
Warranty: 15 Years, 24/7 Warranty
Summary: Humanscale’s first foot rocker model is less than you’d expect from the brand in both appearance and performance. Our preview shows that its poor adjustment and ascetic tubular steel frame make for a below-par product with a premium price tag.
Need More Standing Solutions?
Standing desk balance boards are great for introducing movement while you stand at work. If you’re looking to cushion your soles, check out our Standing Mat Reviews or explore a new category of Calculated Terrain Standing Mats. Another standing solution that may give your knees and lower back respite are balance boards.