Many workers today spend eight hours a day sitting at a computer desk, which can lead to discomfort and even long-term health problems. Ergonomics experts recommend that while typing on a computer, users should be able to sit comfortably with their knees at a 90-degree angle and feet planted on the floor. Standard desk heights range from 28 inches to 30 inches, which means they’re designed for people who are taller than 5 feet 9 inches tall. Shorter users may have a hard time achieving the ideal seated position even with an adjustable office chair.
A foot rest complements an ergonomic office chair by helping shorter users sit comfortably. Some models are even more universally beneficial because they rock and encourage active sitting. Because they promote better posture, foot rests have even been proven to increase focus and concentration.
Read on to learn more about how to find the best foot rest for your desk setup.
- BEST OVERALL: ErgoFoam Ergonomic Foot Rest Under Desk
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: scriptract Ergonomic Foot Rest Cushion Under Desk
- BEST MASSAGING: Mind Reader Comfy Rest, Ergonomic Foot, Pressure
- BEST ROCKING: StrongTek Foot Rest Under Desk, Desk Footrest
- BEST HAMMOCK: Foot Hammock Under Desk Footrest | Adjustable
- BEST FOR STANDING DESKS: VIVO Black Ergonomic Height Adjustable Foot Rest
Though it’s easy to assume that all foot rests work the same way, several characteristics can affect their functionality. Keep reading to learn about some of the most important qualities to consider when shopping for the best foot rest.
- Padded foot rests are made with either high-density foam filling or memory foam and provide a plush, comfortable user experience. They often have removable covers, making them easy to clean. Most are designed to be inverted so they can be used as rocking foot rests if desired.
- Rocking foot rests encourage active sitting and are beneficial for increasing blood flow and strengthening leg and foot muscles. Because of the dynamic movement involved, rocking foot rests may even help you stay focused. They should operate quietly and rock smoothly.
- Massaging foot rests have a textured surface that provides a gentle foot massage while you’re sitting. While some users enjoy the ridged texture, others find it uncomfortable and prefer a smooth surface.
- Hammock-style foot rests are popular for travel because they’re compact and can be used while traveling on an airplane. While they’re not typically recommended by ergonomics experts for long-term use, some users find them to be more comfortable than foot rests that sit on the ground.
Sitting vs. Standing Desk
- The majority of ergonomic foot rests are designed to be used while sitting. They’re typically 2 inches to 5 inches high and may or may not be adjustable. Some are designed to promote active sitting and encourage movement for improved muscle tone.
- Foot rests for standing desks allow users to raise one foot at a time in order to stand comfortably for longer and increase circulation. Many foot rests designed for standing desks are adjustable, making them compatible with a seated position as well.
Foot rests are made from a wide variety of materials. The platforms can be made of plastic or metal, both of which are durable and sturdy. Metal and wood frames perform equally well. Foot rests with foam filling or padding are the most comfortable, and if the foam is dense enough they’re just as supportive as models made from plastic, wood, or metal.
When shopping for a foot rest, there are two important measurements to consider: the height and the surface area.
The ideal foot rest height depends entirely on the user. Generally, heights range between 2 inches and 5 inches. Adjustable models are ideal because they allow users to find the height that works best for them.
It’s important that the area where your feet will be resting is large enough for both feet to fit comfortably with the hips in a neutral position. A surface area of approximately 15 inches by 11 inches should be large enough to accommodate most people.
Foot rests aren’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution. Shorter users may find that some foot rests aren’t tall enough to meet their needs. Most foot rests are height adjustable in order to help users find the ideal seated or standing position. This also makes them compatible with chairs of different heights. Look for a foot rest that can be adjusted between at least 2 inches and 5 inches—though a larger range of heights is even better.
An adjustable angle is another benefit of high-quality foot rests. Models that tilt allow for more varied positions and help users find the one that’s most comfortable for them. The ideal angle should be between 0 degrees and 35 degrees.
It’s important that a foot rest stays firmly in place and doesn’t require frequent readjustment. Some models have anti-slip grips on the underside while others are heavy enough to stay in place on their own.
Our Top Picks
Now that you know more about foot rests, it’s time to start shopping. The following recommendations consider the features above, including type, material, stability, and adjustability.
The ErgoFoam Ergonomic Foot Rest is made with high-density foam, making it both supportive and comfortable to use. It’s pleasantly squishy for those who work in bare or socked feet. Its design is versatile, allowing users to invert it and use it as a rocking foot rest for active sitting. Thanks to its non-slip feature, this foot rest shouldn’t slide out of place.
Its plush-feeling, removable velvet cover can be machine washed using a gentle cycle. Its total height is 3.9 inches; it measures 17.3 inches wide. The brand also makes another version that has a detachable 2-inch base which can be removed to adjust the height of the foot rest.
Those who need a foot rest for both their office and work-from-home setup should consider this two-pack from scriptract. Each foot rest is made from high rebound foam which is soft enough to be comfortable but firm enough to provide adequate support. It has a velvety cover that’s removable and machine washable.
These foot rests can also be flipped over and used as rockers or kept with the flat side on the floor for more stable sitting. They’re designed with non-slip bottoms so that they’ll stay in place no matter what kind of flooring. Each of these foot rests measures 16.7 inches by 9.6 inches by 4.7 inches tall.
Mind Reader’s ergonomic foot rest is designed for pressure relief and has a studded platform that gently massages feet. The ridges also act as a grip so that feet don’t slide out of place. It’s fully adjustable in terms of both height and angle, making it a great pick for those who aren’t sure what position will work best for them. Because of this versatility, it can also easily be shared between multiple members of the same household. It’s available at an affordable price.
The platform measures 18.4 inches by 14 inches and it folds flat so it can be stored compactly when not in use.
A rocking foot rest encourages dynamic movement while sitting or standing, helping to improve both circulation and concentration. This model by StrongTek has a wooden frame and is 4.4 inches high. The platform measures 18 inches wide by 11 inches long and was designed to match average shoulder widths to ensure that the user’s feet are in an ideal position. It’s covered in a textured, anti-slip surface and the bottom is equipped with rubber grips to help the device stay in place. It has a weight capacity of 350 pounds and is well-balanced enough to be used while sitting or standing.
While foot hammocks aren’t typically recommended by ergonomics experts, some users find them to be more comfortable than foot rests that sit on the floor. One of the main advantages of foot hammocks is that they pack up compactly and are great to bring along while traveling to elevate feet on an airplane or a train.
This model is specifically designed to be used under a desk and comes with the necessary installation equipment. It’s designed to work with desks that are up to 4.6 feet long and are 2.5 inches thick or less. The clamps used to attach the hammock to a desk have hooks on the side that can be used to hang a bag or a pair of headphones. The hammock itself is made from 100 percent cotton and can be adjusted to various lengths.
Standing desks have become increasingly popular, but standing in a static position for extended periods of time can become uncomfortable. This standing foot rest by VIVO allows users to prop up one foot at a time, which should encourage longer periods of standing. Its height can be adjusted between 5 inches and 10.25 inches, meaning it can be used in either a seated or a standing position.
The platform measures 15.7 inches long by 9.8 inches wide and has a textured, non-slip surface. It’s designed with a sturdy steel frame that has rubber padding underneath to prevent it from causing damage to floors.
For an ideal posture while typing on a computer, users should have their wrists parallel to the floor and their spines straight. Knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle. If, when in this position, the feet aren’t firmly planted on the floor, a foot rest can help to prop them up. Foot rests have a number of advantages, including:
- Increasing blood circulation
- Encouraging better posture
- Preventing varicose veins and swelling
- Preventing muscle atrophy
- Encouraging active sitting
If you still have questions about how to choose the best foot rest, the answers to the following frequently asked questions may help.
Q. What is an ergonomic foot rest?
An ergonomic foot rest improves posture by allowing you to sit with your feet firmly planted with your knees at a 90-degree angle.
Q. How do I choose a foot rest?
Look for an adjustable foot rest made from durable materials that have non-slip padding on the bottom.
Q. How do you use a foot rest?
A foot rest is simply placed under your desk, allowing you to rest your feet on its surface. There’s no need to remain in the same position all day long. Feel free to shift and readjust to whatever position feels comfortable.