Momma Told Me: Keep those tootsies warm!
Just a few weeks back I ventured a few hours away from home to visit my grandfather for an impromptu birthday party he had decided to throw for himself. We arrived around 1 and spent the remainder of the day, until our departure (near 10), enjoying the many amenities of his backyard. Now, you may recall that I live in Southern California, where the sun shines an average 345 of those 365 days a year. That is not to say that, in the Winter, it does not get cold. Not only did this shindig happen to fall on one of our very rare overcast and drizzly days, but the outside temperatures were quite low (locally), in the low 50s, and later 40s. Well, my grandfather, being a generous host, had several space heaters strewn around the backyard, in addition to a massive double ring fire pit. Why am I sharing this tale? Well, two things of note stand out; 1.) My grandfather and his several proclamations that his feet seem to stay warmer in flip flops vs. close toed shoes, and 2.) My father's pondering as to why the closest feature on his face to the fire, his nose, seemed to feel the most cold.
I could entertain you will numerous tales of the event, including how my gift of Courvoisier Cognac spurred events that led an attendee to hand deliver and pass out shots of his $2k King Louis XII Cognac (well there went my gift!); but today's post is about the cold, and how we regulate our heat in the Winter. I've already shared my insights on the Fellowes Climate Controlled Heated Footrest, in a feature last Winter, and the company was kind enough to send their latest variation for feature once again. So, while I tend to adopt my grandfather's mantra on Winter footwear, I also posses a clear understanding of our body's temperature regulation actuality. The top of one's head, and the soles of one's feet are the quickest draws for lost body heat. Thankfully, most of us, have the natural insulation of hair atop our heads to keep us warm, but only Hobbits can claim the natural insulation on their feet. And, as crazy as going shoe-less may be in the Winter, there is that odd phenomenon where one's tootsies actually feel colder in shoes than without. Basic theories include moisture, such as sweat, which naturally chills in colder weather. Whether you work in an office, or simply work at home, sitting for long period of time can mean less circulation and colder feet. Colder feet means a lower body temperature overall.
One solution to the Winter blues is investing in a heated footrest, which I've certainly found plenty of other uses for throughout the year; even in Southern California. Fellows produces a fer variations, depending on the simplicity of the footrest you are seeking. One of the nicer units I've found is the Fellowes Heat and Slide Footrest, that is impressively lightweight, yet offers the versatility of a feet adjusted incline angle and easy tap on/off power button. The unit is also whisper quiet, with no loud motors to annoy office-mates, or to interrupt the big game. Because of it's dual slide feature the user can now enjoy warmth on the tops of their feet (perfect for when wearing heals, or after coming in from the damp cold), or place their feet directly on top of the unit, as a footrest. The Heat and Slide also has a great 8 hour auto-off safety feature that's especially important with heating appliances.
The Heat and Slide Footrest arrives in a few pieces and requires snap in place assembly that doesn't require instructions, though included. Simply locate the stand notches on the base and slide them along the track to lock them in place, then snap the 4 rubber feet onto each corner of the unit. The device is then ready to plug and use immediately. In honestly, this is a very affordable heated footrest, which means it is built from a primarily plastic base. This keeps it lightweight, but one should never stand on the device, or put unnecessary weight/pressure on the top of the unit itself. The base of the unit slides easily along the track with minimal effort, placing pressure down on the top, while sliding, could cause the track to misalign. This unit is very low voltage, making it an energy saver, with it's 2 prong plug. I like this especially because many of our extension cords are not built for heavy duty appliances with 3 prongs.
The unit operates with one heat setting by simply pushing the illuminating button on the front of the footrest. While I could operate it with my foot, I advise bending down and turning it on/off to extend the life of the unit and avoid damage to the track. Atop of the footrest as gentle nodules in the plastic frame. These are great for a gentle pressure massage on bare and socked feet. Because the heat is emitted from within the frame there is no direct warm air, making it comfortable for bare feet use. I was actually surprised how much use I found for the Heat and Slide's under heating feature, which quickly warms my toes after coming in from the cold, and is great when the puddles outside have seeped through my shoes. For those that sit in an office chair for hours on end, having a footrest that can angle is essential to promoting proper posture, and relieving stress on joints throughout the year. It's whisper quite operation in slide and heat makes it a must have office product for 2013. But don't think you have to have an office to enjoy one of these- I don't know a single armchair fan that wouldn't love to have their toes warm and toasty; or ergonomically rested!
Fellowes was also kind enough to send me their Heat and Soothe backrest, the perfect companion piece to the Heat and Slide Footrest. Unlike the footrest, this backrest is a a stationery lumbar support that does not function with electric interaction. This makes it perfect for the office, where outlet space can be limited. At it's core this product is very simply designed to have multiple compatibility and uses. The adjustable buckle strap is a little rudimentary, but truly makes this backrest suitable for nearly any sized office chair. I had reservations about how secure this would really be, almost maxed at width in my father's office chair, but was surprised to feel it stay in place through several hours of use. Ultimately, though, it will look a little less ridiculous in smaller (non executive) chairs- then again, comfort is truly the key her, not styling! To 'heat and soothe' this backrest includes a generously sized lumbar gel pack that conforms to the shape of the user's back over and over again (great for multi-users). This pack is also safe for use in the microwave or freezer; though you should keep in mind freezing will make it less pliable.
The most impressive thing about the Heat and Soothe Backrest, to me, is the overall design and presentation. Made with a luxurious executive faux leather finish, and finely detailed stitch work this modern backrest is the preferred replacement to ugly lumbar pillows. The thickness of the rest is just right, to promote good posture and alleviate some of the pressure at the base of the spine. Thanks to the easily adjustable strap this backrest can leave the office every night, or even travel to various meetings. And I know a few crafters who could certainly use one of these at their craft nook! Whether you're sitting down to pay the bills in your home office, or coming in from the cold to a 9-5 day at work, the Fellowes brand of office comfort products are there to soothe your aches and pains, and prevent new ones. Both of the above featured products can be purchased direct through Penny Wise Office Products.
What Daughter Says: Maintain your overall health with proper posture and temperature regulation this Winter.
Thanks to PennyWise Office products and Fellowes, one Momma Told Me follower will win both a Heat and Soothe Backrest and Heat and Slide Footrest!