When you think of a hammock, you probably think of a cool, portable sling that you bring with you on camping trips. You think of a calm time hanging out between the trees in the woods or on your old college campus, reading a book, or gazing up at the stars.
What you may not think about is something for you to rest your feet. But think again.
It may come as a surprise to some, but foot rest hammocks are a great way to rest your feet at work or when working from home, especially if you're pulling long hours. Here’s why you may just need a hammock to protect your aching, sore feet and legs.
The Problem With Letting Your Feet Dangle
We’re used to just sitting at tables or desks with our feet hanging out on the floor. What could be wrong with that?
There are actually some surprising health concerns that could arise from having your feet dangle from your seat, no matter what type of desk you're using. Especially if you’re on the shorter side and can’t rest your feet completely on the ground, it’s not the best idea not to have anything to rest your feet on during the workday.
Perhaps the biggest health concern of all is the pressure it puts on your legs and feet. This pressure can lead to some blood clots and varicose veins.
Poor Blood Circulation and Varicose Veins
A huge health concern that arises from not promoting enough circulation to your legs is blood clots.
These happen when you don’t have enough circulation to your leg, and blood cells begin to clot in clumps in your veins. These can cause a loss of circulation and can even get dislodged, and cause major problems with the rest of your circulation system.
Another common issue with improper leg circulation is the formation of varicose veins. Varicose veins, also known as spider veins, are twisted, swollen veins that form just beneath the skin. They are caused by weakened walls in the veins, and they often show up on the thighs and back of the calves.
What Does a Foot Rest Do?
So how can a footrest help you deal with all of these health concerns that are associated with improper seating?
It works by propping your feet up in a slightly elevated position. They are usually made out of memory foam or gel. Or, in the case of a foot hammock, they attach to your desk as a sling. They generally have adjustable straps, if they're going to be portable, or desk mounting plates, if you plan to use them in a more stationary manner. You can also find options that have universal clamps or hooks to increase the adjustability even further.
Either way, a foot rest hammock provides your legs and feet with relief and comfort as well as some surprising health benefits, so they're definitely worth looking into if you're going to be sitting for long periods of time. They're great for passengers on long flights or car rides, and most can be used with all desk types for the ultimate comfort during your work hours.
Benefits of a Foot Rest or Hammock
How exactly can a footrest be good for your health? There are a few different things a good footrest or a foot hammock can do for you and your health.
Here are just a few.
They Encourage Active Sitting
A footrest or foot hammock is helpful because it encourages something called active sitting.
Active sitting is using ergonomic tools, like a footrest or desk hammock, to engage the body in dynamic ways. When you’re sitting normally, your body is at rest, causing weight distribution that can eventually become painful, especially if you're at your desk or on an airplane and will be there for a while.
When you use ergonomic additions to cause active sitting, you’re engaging muscles in your body that can help keep you limber and active. This is great for your overall health.
Support the Weight of Your Lower Body
A footrest is just that: a rest. It gives you a place to put your legs so that your lower back doesn’t have to do the work of counterbalancing your leg weight.
Having a good foot hammock will fully support the weight of your lower half, allowing the rest of your body to become more relaxed and avoid muscle fatigue that comes from holding up your legs.
Having your feet propped up allows for better circulation. When your feet and legs are hanging or dangling off of your seat with no support, circulation can get cut off to your feet and legs.
This lack of good circulation can cause the most serious side effects of sitting in an uncomfortable position. Poor circulation in your legs leads to things like leg swelling, lower back pain, varicose veins, blood clots, and even a more serious condition called deep vein thrombosis.
If you get the right footrest, you allow the blood to flow freely, uninterrupted through your whole body.
The last positive of using a foot hammock?
They’re just comfortable.
When you work at a desk all day, you know just how uncomfortable it can become for you. You’re always stuck in the same position, you're dealing with leg stiffness, and you get eye fatigue from staring at a screen, feeling tired from working those long days.
A footrest can add just that little something that can make your days more comfortable. And who doesn’t like that?
Who Can Benefit From a Foot Rest or Hammock
So who can benefit from a foot hammock?
Well, anyone and everyone can. But here are a few of the more specific groups of people that can benefit, especially from these simple little devices.
If you’re what some might consider on the shorter side, our recommendation is that you could definitely benefit from a foot hammock. A lot of the time, folks on the shorter side of the spectrum have trouble reaching the ground when seated.
Why not make things easier by bringing the floor up to you? A footrest or foot hammock could save you from that uncomfortable dangling position you may find yourself in, and a model with adjustable height features may be just right for you.
People Who Work at a Desk All Day
If you sit at your desk all day, you should definitely be using a footrest. Your feet don’t get enough love and attention when they’re hanging out underneath a desk all day. Help honor them with a footrest.
People Who Fly Frequently
Foot hammocks are particularly useful for frequent flyers, because we can't always be in first class. This type of hammock can be easily attached to plane tray tables during a long-haul flight to make them just that much more comfortable, and you don't have to bother with wood screws or desk edge brackets. A foot sling will help you adjust with the movement of the plane, so you're never uncomfortable.
They also often work when you're in a reclined position, meaning that you can still get some shut-eye while you're on your flight.
Anyone Can Benefit From a Foot Hammock
No matter what you do in your day-to-day life, you can certainly benefit from using a footrest to keep your feet elevated and comfortable. When you divide you need one, you know you can trust the quality of our products.
Varicose Veins | NHLBI, NIH
Effects of Active Sitting on Reading and Typing Task Productivity | NIH
Can I get a blood clot from sitting at my computer? | Mount Sinai