Most of us call them foot rests. Humanscale calls them foot machines. Either way, they get your feet moving and make you feel better whenever you're sitting at your desk.
What's the difference between a foot rest and a foot machine?
Good question. The main difference is that a foot machine entices the user's feet to move, while a foot rest does not. The foot rest provides a place of stability for your feet so that they aren't hanging in mid-air or sliding along the floor. Thus, the foot rest encourages an ergonomic posture.
A foot machine goes a step further. It has a mechanism that pivots, bends, or spins, encouraging the user's feet to remain mobile even when the person they're attached to is sitting down. When your feet move, your legs move, and you get more blood circulation. You know how you feel better when you get up from your desk and walk around for a few minutes after you've been sitting down for a few hours? That's because your blood circulation just took off while you were walking around. A Humanscale foot machine helps you achieve this while you're still at your desk.
Foot rests provide welcome leg support for those whose desk heights or chair heights are not properly fitted to their size. Most office chairs offer a seat height adjustment mechanism, but the vast majority of desks are not height adjustable. The result for many people is that they raise their chair up to a height where their feet are off the floor. This can put undue stress on the back of the thighs, leading to poor blood circulation and numbness in the legs.
Foot rests offer a quick solution to this problem. An ergonomic foot rest provides support and stability for the legs and takes the pressure off the back of the thighs.