The Importance of Footrests in the Office

Many employees spend long hours sitting at their desks, so ergonomic furniture and accessories have become increasingly essential. One such accessory that is often overlooked is the footrest. This simple yet highly effective tool can significantly enhance comfort and health in the workplace. Let’s explore the benefits of footrests in the office and why they should be a staple in every workstation setup.

Why Footrests Matter

Footrests play a crucial role in promoting proper posture and reducing physical strain. When seated for extended periods, it is common for individuals to adopt a poor posture, such as slouching or crossing legs. These positions can lead to various health issues, including back pain, circulatory problems, and even long-term musculoskeletal disorders.

Promoting Ergonomic Posture: Footrests encourage a more ergonomic seating position by allowing users to place their feet flat and evenly on a supportive surface. This positioning helps maintain the natural curve of the spine, reducing the risk of back pain and discomfort.

Enhancing Circulation: Keeping feet elevated on a footrest can improve blood circulation, particularly in the lower extremities. This is especially beneficial for individuals who may suffer from varicose veins or other circulatory issues. Improved circulation also reduces the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition that can occur from prolonged periods of inactivity.

Reducing Pressure on the Lower Back: Footrests can alleviate pressure on the lower back by distributing weight more evenly and reducing the strain on the lumbar region. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who spend a significant portion of their day sitting, as it helps prevent lower back pain and related discomfort.

adjustable footrest

Key Features to Consider

When selecting a footrest for the office, it’s important to consider several key features to ensure maximum comfort and benefit.


An adjustable footrest allows users to customise the height and angle to suit their individual needs. This feature is particularly important in a shared workspace where multiple individuals may use the same desk. Adjustable footrests ensure that everyone can achieve an ergonomic setup, regardless of their height or preferred seating position.

Non-Slip Surface

A non-slip surface is essential to keep feet securely in place, preventing them from sliding off the footrest. This ensures consistent support and helps maintain the desired ergonomic posture throughout the day.

Tilting Mechanism

Some footrests come with a tilting mechanism that allows for rocking or movement. This can further enhance comfort by promoting subtle movements and preventing stiffness. The ability to tilt can also encourage active sitting, which is beneficial for overall health and well-being.

office footrest

Integrating Footrests into the Workplace

Integrating footrests into the office environment can be a straightforward process. Here are some tips to ensure successful implementation:

Educate Employees: Inform employees about the benefits of using footrests and how to properly adjust them for optimal comfort. Providing ergonomic training sessions can be highly effective in promoting proper usage.

Provide Options: Offer a variety of footrests to accommodate different preferences and needs. This can include adjustable, tilting, and static footrests.

Encourage Usage: Encourage regular use of footrests by integrating them into the standard office setup. Position footrests as a key component of ergonomic furniture alongside adjustable chairs and desks.

Regular Assessments: Conduct regular ergonomic assessments to ensure that workstations, including footrests, are set up correctly and continue to meet the needs of employees. This can help identify any issues early and make necessary adjustments.

Simple but Effective

Footrests are a simple yet powerful tool in creating a more ergonomic and comfortable office environment. By promoting better posture, enhancing circulation, and reducing lower back pressure, footrests can play a vital role in improving the health and productivity of office workers. As such, they should be considered an essential component of any ergonomic workstation setup. Investing in quality footrests and educating employees on their benefits can lead to a healthier, more satisfied, and ultimately more productive workforce.

ergonomic office chair footrest

FAQ: Modern Ergonomic Office Setup

1. What is an ergonomic office setup? An ergonomic office setup is designed to maximise comfort and efficiency, reducing strain on the body. Key components include adjustable chairs, desks, monitors at eye level, and accessories like footrests and wrist rests.

2. Why is ergonomic posture important? Proper ergonomic posture helps prevent musculoskeletal disorders, reduces fatigue, and increases productivity by ensuring the body is in a natural, comfortable position.

3. What features should I look for in an ergonomic chair? Look for adjustable seat height, lumbar support, a reclining backrest, and armrests that can be adjusted in height and angle.

4. How should my desk be arranged for optimal ergonomics? Ensure your monitor is at eye level, your keyboard and mouse are within easy reach, and your feet are supported by a footrest if they don’t comfortably touch the floor.

5. What is the purpose of a footrest? A footrest supports your feet, promotes proper posture, and can reduce pressure on your lower back and legs.

6. Can ergonomic accessories really make a difference? Yes, ergonomic accessories like wrist rests, monitor arms, and adjustable chairs can significantly reduce strain and improve comfort during long work hours.

7. How can I encourage ergonomic practices in my office? Provide ergonomic furniture and accessories, offer training on proper posture, and encourage regular breaks to move and stretch.

8. What are the benefits of an ergonomic workspace? Benefits include reduced risk of injury, increased comfort, enhanced productivity, and overall better employee well-being.

9. Are there standards for ergonomic office furniture? Yes, there are standards such as those from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the British Standards Institution (BSI) that outline ergonomic requirements.

10. How can I assess my current workspace for ergonomics? Conduct an ergonomic assessment by checking the alignment of your monitor, keyboard, chair, and accessories. Consider consulting an ergonomic specialist for a detailed evaluation.


Three DSE Assessors Ready to Help You

We’re proud to have delivered DSE assessments for numerous councils, including Leeds, Manchester, Cumbria, Carlise, Cumberland, Westmorland, and Furness. We have also provided DSE assessments for most blue-chip companies in the North of England. Contact us at 01229 821212 today to arrange an assessment for you and your staff.