Posts Tagged ‘footrests’

Webble Active Footrest Review

The Webble Active Footrest is the newest way to relieve your legs and feet while sitting and working for extended periods of time. A new way to make your office even more ergonomically correct, the Webble features 4 wheels beneath a durable frame wrapped in foam and mesh that together create a footrest intended for continual movement.

Available in 3 different color schemes including black mesh/black foam, black mesh/red foam, and silver mesh/black foam. Although it comes with wheels, don’t get any idea about skating on the Webble because it comes with a preventive safety lock mechanism to prevent improper usage. The Webble features smooth gliding casters ideal for carpet use.

What we thought:

Fun and innovative. When we first received the Webble, I wasn’t sure what to make of it as it looked like a mesh skateboard. However, after trying the Webble out at my desk, after a few weeks I started getting used to the concept of having a footrest that rolled and I’m really starting to enjoy using it on a daily basis. Being 5’2″ it’s nice to have something to prop my feet up on to ensure I get proper circulation while sitting with my feet flat on the footrest. I have also found that having a footrest that moves and isn’t stationary is actually beneficial as it allows me to move around more often instead of feeling cramped by sitting in the same position for 8 hours a day.

The Bad:

Not every product can be perfect, including the Webble which has a couple of drawbacks. The first drawback I’ve found is the price point; it is understandable many can not afford the Webble starting at $150, however it is also important to keep in mind the benefits of using an active footrest which makes purchasing this product well worth it. The second drawback is that it takes a bit of getting used to, especially if you are accustomed to using a stationary footrest.

The Good:

While the price may seem a bit steep the advantages outweigh the disadvantages by far, making the Webble a worthwhile investment. The Webble has four casters located under its frame that allows you to roll the footrest in any direction. The constant motion is good for your legs because it promotes circulation and eliminates the cramping feeling you may start to feel in your legs from sitting in the same position for too long. The casters also have a locking capability to keep the Webble in place if too much pressure is applied, in order to avoid accidents that could potentially incur from standing or skating on the product.

The overall construction of the Webble is also a force to be reckoned with. The mesh used to cover the top of the Webble is virtually indestructible as I found found after using it for months now. I’ve dug my heel into the Webble countless times, work stilettos and placed the heel on top of the mesh with firm pressure, and it has been knocked around a bit since arriving in our office. I’ve seen quite a few different brands of footrests break after a few months of usage or if too much pressure is applied when sitting, but after using the Webble I would confidently say this product will last for years of usage.

If anything, it will be a fun addition to have in any office. Not only will you be the talk of the office, but you’ll also be the first (presumably) to have the coolest new ergonomic device in your workplace. Just don’t let your co-workers mistake it for a skateboard!

Grade:

4/5 Chairs

Overall, this footrest is worth having, especially if you experience pain in your legs from sitting in the same position on a regular basis or if you are a shorter individual and would like to have something to prop your feet up on, like myself. The only downside is the cost, but it may be worth the investment considering the chance you may have to replace cheaper footrests much more often than you’d have to replace a Webble with its solid quality construction.

The Webble was even featured in Spirit Magazine December 2010 issue, found on Southwest Airlines under the business perk of the month section!

The Value of Ergonomic Accessories, Pt. 1

What are ergonomic accessories, and how do we assess their value in an era when the “hot” term in the office is ergonomics? Everyone wants a piece of them, and everyone wants to charge a lot for them, but before you dive headfirst into “ergonomicafying” your office, let’s get a deeper understanding of what will and what can work for your work environment.

Ergonomic accessories can be classified into 3 general categories: Monitor Arms, Keyboard Trays, and Footrests. Some mice are included in this conversation, but only a few. Anything else is really an office accessory, including CPU holders, glare filters and task lights. While not disputing the fact that these office accessories are valuable, they are not focused at providing the same benefits to one’s body at work like the aforementioned 3 ergonomic categories.

monitor armMonitor arms became increasingly popular with the decrease in price of flat screen monitors – at first a tool for the hip, now a tool for comfort. Not only do they allow for more desk tabletop space by freeing up valuable real estate, but the true ergonomic benefit comes in the ability to position the monitor at the right height for the computer’s user. Ideally, the top of the monitor should be level to users line of sight – this dissuades slouching or leaning to read the screen. If you use two monitors, a dual monitor arm may be employed, and the second monitor should be aligned an arms length in front of you and to the right of the main monitor. If you have a laptop, you can still use a monitor arm – you’ll just need a monitor. By using a laptop tray, you can use your laptop monitor effectively without using a monitor arm.

What does “not slouching” do? Basically, your mother was right. (Funny how we always hear that as we grow older). The monitor arm prevents slouching, which means you are going to be in the optimal sitting position most of your work hours. Your back is going to be where it should be – leaning against the backrest. Why is leaning against the backrest good, aside from feeling good? Let’s look at the shape of the chair to the shape of your spine. Notice the S shape of your spine and how it rests against the S shaped backrest? Most ergonomic chairs will have such a shaped backrest, so leaning all the way back allows your back to appropriately meet the backrest.

Keyboard trays also encourage proper ergonomics by keeping your arms at an even level. This posture of your arms will reduce the strain on the wrists that is commonly associated with constant and repetitive typing. Keyboard Trays are becoming more popular and are usually a more commonly bought accessory – installation requires only a few screws and the benefits are immediate. There are many different types of keyboard trays – they all pretty much function the sames so quality is where the price differences arise.

So getting a keyboard tray is effective in relieving wrist related stress while typing, but like the monitor arm, it has a practical use as well – it frees up valuable desk space. While the paperless office has been attempted, lets face it, paper will always be around. Might as well have more room to spread your clutter!

ESI LAPTOP STANDYou may be one of the many people that employ a laptop. As I write this from a laptop, I can tell you that having a laptop is no excuse to eschew ergonomics. There are utilities available to take advantage of a keyboard tray and monitor arm with a laptop, such as this nifty Laptop Docking Station (which is the one I use, by the way):

Lastly, the ergonomic footrests. What is the benefit of that? None if you don’t use it right. (Like anything). An ergonomic footrests is generally made for two purposes – one, to give users a place to rest their feet on high chairs or seating areas or two, as an accessory to encourage movement of the feet while sitting. This constant motion won’t burn many calories, but it will promote bloodflow, which in turn reduces fatigue. And that’s always nice. They even have some with massage balls – so you can get a nice massage in the workplace, provided your feet don’t, well, smell.

The idea behind ergonomic accessories is to add overall comfort to the user’s workplace atmosphere, and that is a goal that is not to be overlooked nor understated. The modern work lifestyle has evolved to the point where these items are not a luxury anymore- with people spending more and more time on a computer and on the Internet these days, being comfortable for a prolonged period of time is critical to overall well being.

Just think of how many hours a day you’d spend working in front of your computer, slouching forward and trying to make sense of the small text on the screen. (Make the font bigger, if you keep squinting!) A good monitor arm/keyboard tray/footrest combo will quickly and, if chosen right, inexpensively make your or your employees work days more efficient and better over the long run. All of the accessories sold at Sitbetter are quality items – nothing that will fail within a week or even a year, and if it does, it is a good thing you bought it here, because we have your back. It’s ok to drink our ergonomic kool-aid – we do.

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Why to set up an ergonomic office

So, you’ve finally decided to get with the 21st century and set up an ergonomic office!  You might only have a few dozen questions or so on how to do it, why go to all that expense and where to go, etc, etc, etc!

Some great questions, because setting up an ergonomic office can not only be confusing, but expensive, so do it right the first time, not guessing about how to go about it and spending far too much on the wrong products!

Here’s an example. 

I googled ergonomics, and I came across a particular ‘ergonomic’ e-tailer who was passing a chair like this one off as an ergonomic chair!  Now, don’t get me wrong, this might be a perfectly great chair, but an ergonomic office chair?…. Not a chance!

So then you start looking around, and discounting the chairs which likely are not ergonomic office chairs, you start to see the price tags and the coughing, hacking and spasming starts!

After you wake up, drag yourself up onto your chair and sip some water…. let me explain to you just why it makes economic sense to set your employees up with as good of ergonomic office chairs and accessories as you can….

A recent study shows that the average employee, when outfitted properly with a sensible ergonomic office, chair, accessories and everything, is going to be 10-15% more productive.

Imagine that, figure if that employee is paid 40K a year, and gets even 5 % more productive…… (does math in head….. grrrr, not coming….. )…. carry the two…. ohhh forget it (grabs calculator)…. That’s 2000 more a year in productivity! 

So figure, if a chair costs $800, keyboard tray, monitor arm, footrest and light another $600 or so….  (grabs calculator again…)… that setup pays for itself in 8 months!   Or 4 months if you go with the 10 percent!

Quite simply, putting together an ergonomic office makes great business sense!

So how to do it?  Well, you don’t have to take my word on it, you can look at Cornell University’s ergonomic website and see what they recommend.  In short, however, a good chair, monitor arm, keyboard tray, footrest and task light.  I’ll recommend the Freedom Chair as a great high-quality ergonomic office chair, and Humanscale’s keyboard tray, monitor arm and footrests are very good and quality pieces as well.

 

So, who to buy from?

Find someone who knows what the heck they’re talking about!

If their idea of an ergonomic office chair is like the one about…. ummm not likely a great place to shop! 

Of course I recommend SitBetter.com, but heck, I’m biased!

It’s simply not just the office chair…

Well hello again!
In the hunt for a good chair for you, one thing most people don’t consider is that how they work at the desk means they could be sitting on a rock, for all the good the chair is going to do you.
I’ve seen some rather…. interesting search terms on google- chairs for short, petite chairs, chairs for petite people, chairs for small, chairs for tiny people- you get the point?
If you’re not that tall, try using a foot rest. The type that move are great, allowing you actually move your legs while seated increase blood flow and reduce pressure points. In fact, had a 5’2″ customer in this morning, the second thing I showed her was a foot rest and she was amazed at the difference in how she sat.
Think about it, when you’re shorter, the weight of your legs is not supported, so they are actually pulling your body out from the back of the chair. When your legs are supported, you end up sitting back into the chair as you’re supposed to do. It really does feel good, try it!
Here’s a picture of the Humanscale foot rest (commercial plug- :-P ) available at SitBetter.com
 


Some like how this rolls easily, but I’ve found that is not a universal preference. Sitting in a chair with wheels on very thin carpet, floor mat or hardwood floor, some people find themselves actually moving about a bit much.
This is not a problem in areas with thicker carpet, since the chair does not tend to move easily.
If you feel that may be an issue for you, try this sort. It does not move as easily, and there are little rubber stoppers on the legs to keep it stable, in fact.
Again, the main purpose of these is to give the feet a platform on which to support. There are many out there from which to choose, just consider that it’s going to help adapt your environment to your body type, which is a far better thing than trying to force your body to adapt to your environment!
For more information (of course, another crass commercial plug!), contact me here or at Sitbetter.com!