A majority of people spend several hours a day sitting in front of a computer, which can bring on a number of ailments that include backache, muscle aches, strain on the eyes, and repetitive strain injuries. Using ergonomic furniture reduces these ailments, thus leading to healthier employees, which results in improved productivity and satisfaction at the workplace. So we have chairs, desks, keyboards, and even the mouse that is designed in a way so as to bring out the best in employees. But one aspect commonly ignored is the footrest. A footrest provides the much-needed support to the limbs and the lower back we need when we sit for an extended period. Let us focus on the ergonomic benefits that using a footrest can have.
Ergonomic Advantages of Using a Footrest
♦ Backache, stiff necks, pain in the legs, etc. are some very common health issues a lot of people suffer from, just by sitting in one place for many hours. Using a footrest as part of your ergonomic office furniture will go a long way in reducing such problems. Incorrectly placed legs and feet can put undue pressure on the back muscles. The ideal way is to keep your knees a little higher than the hips and sit with your feet planted firmly on the floor. But for those who are not tall enough, placing the feet flat on the ground can pose a problem. A footrest comes in very handy for such people, who now have a stable support for their feet. Feet should never be left unsupported, dangling on the floor.
♦ Being seated for long hours results in poor blood flow. Blood clots and varicose veins are therefore commonly reported problems among people. Poor circulation also results in fatigue and weaker muscles. Keeping the feet propped on a footrest every once in a while takes care of such problems by keeping the blood flow regular, as it results in leg movements.
♦ Long hours of work can hamper the posture, and we fail to realize how much we slouch whilst being seated. This puts unnecessary strain on the spine, and if not corrected on time, it can eventually lead to chronic back pain. A footrest will make sure you sit with your back straight, your body all the way back to the rear of the chair.
♦ Invest in ergonomic footrests, these are specially designed so people can sit comfortably and feel minimum strain. These come equipped with a variety of options meant to make seating for long hours more comfortable. Some have massage rollers built into them. They gently massage the soles of the feet, vastly enhancing blood circulation. Textured footrests are also available, moving your feet over them once in a while will aid circulation and help tired feet.
♦ Other types include heated footrests, which keep the feet warm, and those that are fitted with memory foam, which allows it to conform to the shape of your feet for added comfort and soothing pressure points. Some ergonomic footrests also have pedals which can allow you to change the inclination and height of the footrest platform as per your needs.
♦ Even at home, if you need to sit in one place for several hours for any reason, purchasing a footrest is a good idea. You could also use an ottoman as a footrest to maintain good posture and reduce neck, back, and leg injuries.
Even though you may be following ergonomics in your office, taking short breaks is still equally important. Modern-day office routine has largely contributed to a sedentary lifestyle, and many people fail to understand the importance of movement our body needs. Get up, stretch your arms, take a stroll for a couple of minutes, and then walk back to your workstation. Look for comfort and sturdiness when buying a footrest. Equally important is that it should be stable and not slip on any kind of surface. As an employer, providing ergonomic furniture might seem a costly affair at first, but it will prove immensely helpful in the long run. An ergonomic work environment will make employees feel less stressed out and exhausted, implying that they will be healthier and happier, and needless to say, take fewer leaves and perform better. If you do not have one yet, consider making the footrest a part of your office and home furniture, and you will definitely have fewer health problems to worry about.