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Footrests that Warm, Cool and Inflate

Updated on May 23, 2010


Do your feet dangle when you sit at your desk? Does the back of your legs lose circulation when you sit too long without moving around? How cold does it get in the dark underside of your desk? If any of these sounds familiar to you - there may be a simple solution.

Ergonomics is a popular topic of discussion in numerous articles and manuals. Regardless of where you find the information it all says the same thing.  In order to avoid overuse injuries, low back pain and shoulder aches a few simple rules of body mechanics need to be considered when setting up a work space. There are specific rules about the chair you sit in, you should not lean over your desk and your wrists should not be strained when typing on a keyboard. Major body parts need to line up with each other. The body needs to be relaxed while being supported.  

It is amazing that we make it through a day’s work without ending up in slings and traction.

Body alignment is important – no doubt about it. Every year millions of dollars are spent for carpal tunnel surgeries. Millions of dollars are spent each year on supportive back pillows, heat wraps and muscle relaxers.  Obviously it is very difficult to come up with a one size fits all solution. Sometimes you just have to experiment until you find what works best for you.

While shopping for a pair of jeans it becomes obvious that the model used by the manufacturer was not my height. Thank goodness office chairs are easily adjusted.  Since most desks are basically the same height – 29 to 30 inches - adjustments are typically made in the height of the desk chair. I have never seen a women’s desk versus a man’s desk although the typical American male is 5’7 to 5’10.5 feet tall and the typical American female is 5’2.5 to 5’4.5 feet tall.

Although chair adjustments will solve most issues there are other issues to be considered.  If the chair is adjusted too high your thighs may be cramped by a desk drawer. If the chair is adjusted to low you may feel the need of a booster seat. Worst of all - short legs may not allow your feet to touch the floor.

Under desk footrests have the potential of solving much of the too tall – too short issues? Especially those that is adjustable. Some footrests double as an under the desk foot warmer.

Footrests do not necessarily make a fashion statement. They are functional and pretty much hidden away so whatever the décor a footrest should fit in.

McGill (10604) is a 100 watt footrest with a footbed that measures 18.25 wide x 13 inches high x just less than 4 inches deep. Two warming settings make this footrest able to warm your feet and legs. The surface is designed so that your feet will not slide except when you want a foot massage and you rub the soles of your feet over the bumpy surface. The footbed is also designed to swivel and to rotate so that as you move- so will the footrest.  The available color of the McGill footrest is black.


Taking your footrest with you is also made easy by the Travel Smith Folding Footrest. It is made from lightweight ABS plastic and folds down to a compact size of 8.5 inches x .75 inches. Elevating your feet and ergonomically aligning your back does not require fancy equipment.

Some footrests are portable and can be taken with you on a trip or to the living room. An inflatable footrest is lightweight and soft to the touch. The surface is fleece so it also is warming to the feet. Do not worry that you have to huff and puff though because the footrest is self inflatable. The inflatable footrest is convenient since it can be deflated and tucked inside of a bag. Long airplane commutes, long car rides or sitting through a long movie can be much more comfortable when you feet are elevated. Many doctors recommend that you do what is necessary to keep circulation in your legs. Keeping pressure from the back of your legs keeps the blood flowing from your lower extremities.



Some footrests keep your feet and legs cozy warm and cools them as well. The 225 watt Vornado SoleAire is a low energy consuming footrest with a built in fan and is personal heater all in one. An automatic shutoff feature remembers to turn the unit off after4 hours even if you do not. Settings include high, medium, low and fan only. This footrest surface measures nearly 12 inches x 13.75 inches x nearly 6 inches.

The Kensington Solemate footrest adjusts from 3.5 inches to 5 inches providing a variety of heights for your feet and will lock into place at your optimum height. Locking it into place happens with a simple movement of the foot. The surface is non-skid and is soft yet supportive. The Kensington Solemate is available in gray.


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