What are the health benefits of using a footstool?

A footstool is not just a pretty home accessory, there are actually numerous health benefits and we will cover a selection of them in this article.

fabric footstool

Some of the ailments a footstool can help with include:

Improving your posture to reduce back pain. When you are sitting for a long period of time, a food rest can help to reduce strain on your back and neck. The problem of sitting is one that most people can relate to. No matter what the condition is, the natural inclination is to lean back in a chair, slouch and feel better. Some of us even believe that the more we sit, the better we will feel. But this is not necessarily true. If you need to be sitting for a long period of time as many of us do it’s important to get the best possible sitting position. Especially with more and more people working from home these days, it’s easy to fall into bad habits of slouching on the couch which can cause office syndrome. A footstool can help to alleviate this problem when you’re sitting for long periods of time and some people even use their footstool to improve their standing posture. Standing up straight is not just about posture; it also helps keep your back healthy, as well as your hips, and help prevent future problems. It can also help if you have vertigo, or if you have trouble getting up from a chair. 

Even though we spend a huge amount of time sitting down, very few of us actually know and even fewer of us actually use the correct sitting position leading to unnecessary back, neck, hip and circulation problems. Sitting incorrectly can even cause the infamous office syndrome which leads many people to seek the services of massage therapists, chiropractors and even osteopaths which could easily be prevented by adopting a correct sitting position and/or using a footstool as and when needed.

What is the correct sitting position?

  • Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. ...
  • All 3 normal back curves should be present while sitting. ...
  • Sit at the end of your chair and slouch completely.
  • Draw yourself up and accentuate the curve of your back as far as possible. ...
  • Release the position slightly (about 10 degrees).

Most footstools are around 12 inches in height and the ideal height for a footstool is 2 inches shorter than the chair you are sitting on. It’s ok for the footstool to be the same height as your chair as long as it’s not taller.

Putting your feet up on a footrest can help to prevent blood clots related to deep vein thrombosis, relieve pressure on the lower back, and decrease swelling and varicose veins. Using a footstool helps to improve circulation and relieve tired and aching muscles.

If you are below average height then you may find a footrest even more beneficial as many chairs and sofas will not allow your feet to reach your floor and put an unnecessary strain on your lower spine. When your legs are supported, blood flow and circulation increase, thus lowering the chances of leg pain, stiffness, and developing varicose veins or blood clots.

When a chair is too high for your feet to reach the floor then it may lead to crossing your legs as you are sitting. Sitting cross legged for more than 3 hours a day can lead to health problems such as lateral pelvic tilt, which occurs when one hip is higher than the other, houlder inclination or neck problems.  

footstool near wall

Who can benefit from using a footstool?

Elderly people can really benefit from footrests as they spend a lot of their day sitting down which can become uncomfortable. Elderly people are also at increased risk of blood clots and thrombosis which can be prevented with better circulation. Buying a footstool can be a great investment for an older person. 

Another group of people who can benefit immensely from using a footrest is breastfeeding Mothers. A footstool encourages a good nursing position and a proper latch by lifting your lap and bringing your child up closer to the level of your breast. When your lap and your baby are raised up, it also helps to relieve strain on your legs, arms, back, shoulders, and neck.

Contrary to popular belief, footstools are not only for use when sitting. They can also be used to relieve pressure on the legs and lower back when standing. The benefits of using a footrest when doing standing work at the computer include:

Making it easier to stand comfortably for longer periods by shifting weight between legs, engaging the muscles and improving blood flow.

Giving you a comfortable and natural posture

Ability to rest, flex, and stretch your calves, ankles, and feet.

There are numerous health benefits to using a footstool and we can’t cover all of them in this article but we hope that we’ve given you some insight into the benefits of buying a footstool