Do you need an anti-fatigue mat while working at a standing desk?
You know and understand the benefits of standing while you work.
There are several advantages to using a standing desk, but using one is not without its own unique challenges.
The problem is, it can get really uncomfortable, really fast, and be even more distracting while you’re trying to work making you want to sit, which defeats the whole purpose.
So how do you combat that?
With an anti-fatigue mat for your standing desk.
You most definitely need a standing desk mat, here’s why:
An anti-fatigue mat will provide great support for your feet and ankles, reduce your aches and pains due to standing, improve your circulation, encourage good posture and help with your overall energy level, be more productive and enable you to stand while you working longer so you can enjoy all the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of sitting too much.
But you may be thinking:
- Do anti-fatigue mats really work?
- What benefits will get from one if I buy it?
- Are there different types of anti-fatigue mats?
- Which one should I buy?
Keep reading to learn what you need to know about anti-fatigue mats and your standing desk in your home office – I’ve covered it all for you here.
By the way – before we get too far along here, if you want to get more great ideas for your home office and connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.
Do you need an anti fatigue mat for a standing desk?
If you spend any amount of time standing at your desk while you’re working in your home office then an anti-fatigue mat is something you’ll want to have.
Anti-fatigue mats do wonders for your physical well-being as you work throughout your day.
A good anti-fatigue mat will provide great support for your joints and muscles, delivering comfort, and stability when you stand while working at your adjustable desk.
They can be used to help prevent foot, leg, back, or neck problems.
These types of mats also offer more than just comfort; they can reduce stress on your joints and muscles.
You may not think much about your feet until you start working from a standing desk.
Your feet take a lot of abuse every day because you ‘re constantly on them all day long. All it takes is a minor injury to your foot that keeps you off your feet to help you understand how important taking care of your feet is!
When you sit all day, your body naturally wants to relax so it does what it needs to do.
It’s not always possible to get up and stretch out after sitting for hours, but an anti-fatigue mat helps keep your body limber and ready to go.
An anti-fatigue mat provides a comfortable surface for your feet to rest on.
What is an anti-fatigue mat?
Anti-fatigue mats are mats engineered and demonstrated to help prevent muscle and joint pain from prolonged periods of standing.
Ergonomically designed mats usually combine both an ergonomic design and a cushioned surface layer.
These mats provide a continuous stimulus for muscle activation which stimulates blood circulation throughout your lower body.
They encourage their users to make continuous micro movements which provide them with numerous health benefits including reducing back and foot pain, fatigue, and stress.
When you’re on your feet for extended periods of time, your joints and muscles start begging for mercy and want to find the nearest chair to relieve that discomfort!
First used in factories and other industrial workplaces, they were used to help provide some relief for workers who would spend their entire shift on their feet.
They’ve since gained widespread adoption throughout the working world and are common in traditional offices and home offices alike.
Fatigue reducing mats are made from all kinds of different types of materials like as memory foam, gel, rubber, carpeting, and vinyl.
Do anti-fatigue mats really work?
Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, it is true.
If you’re like me, you understand that standing too long, or just being on your feet too long can get really uncomfortable.
And the National Institutes of Health agree.
A study by Thomas R. Waters, Ph.D, and Robert B. Dick, Ph.D, notes that there is “ample evidence showing that prolonged standing at work leads to adverse health outcomes.”
Their recommendation is, among other things, the use of floor mats to help alleviate the discomfort that comes from too much time on your feet.
Another 2012 study by George Havenith and Lucy Dorman of Loughborough University, in the U.K. reports that discomfort due to standing in “… the lower legs, the upper legs and the lower back all improved (i.e. discomfort reduced) statistically significantly, when using a mat.”
They go on to say that discomfort due to standing in the “lower back and lower legs showed the largest improvement.”
So you can rest assured – anti-fatigue mats really do work!
Why is it beneficial to use an anti-fatigue mat with a sit-stand desk?
Your feet take a lot of abuse every day because you’re constantly moving them around.
The benefits of using an anti-fatigue mat with a sit-stand desk are many.
One of the most obvious reasons is that if you have a problem with your knees, hips, ankles, etc., then you’ll probably have a hard time getting into and out of a traditional office chair.
But if you have a sit-stand desk, you don’t have to worry about those issues.
Provides great support – the cushioning that makes an anti-fatigue mat what it is makes it easier for you to support your body weight when you’re standing, giving your leg muscles and lower back some much needed help.
Reduces aches and pains due to standing – Standing is known to cause sore feet, and aches and pains all over. This is because as you stand your lower body is much more actively supporting the weight of your upper body and that can get uncomfortable after doing it for as little as an hour. Anti-fatigue mats help relieve that pressure. Studies have shown that an anti-fatigue mat will reduce these pains.
Enables you to comfortably stand longer – When your body is better supported and you’re free from aches and pains, you can spend more time standing which is also good because it helps you strengthen leg muscles, your core and improve your balance too.
Standing helps improve your blood circulation – When you’re standing your body is in its natural position and your blood flows more naturally. Sitting too much can cause problems for your circulation, like swollen ankles blood clots, peripheral neuropathy (numbness in limbs, et al), and lessening or cutting off blood flow that can lead to other health problems down the road like heart disease and obesity. Using an anti-fatigue mat helps you stay on your feet to combat those issues.
Helps you to be more productive – So when you’re comfortable, and your circulation is good and everything is in its right order, you will be more productive! You’ll find yourself shifting your weight less, or making less movements to accommodate for physical discomfort.
It helps encourage good posture which helps with energy – Standing on an anti-fatigue mat naturally encourages a good posture which will help with energy and alertness.
It’s much more comfortable – The difference you will feel is substantial when you have the right mat! So ultimately when you feel good, you perform well, your mind is in the right gear, and you’re able to be at your very best.
Are there different kinds of anti-fatigue mats?
There are lots of different types of anti-fatigue mats available today. They come in various sizes, colors, shapes, thicknesses, and materials. Some even have built in features such as heating pads or massage rollers. There are even anti-fatigue mats designed specifically for people who work with their hands.
What kind should I choose?
That depends entirely upon your needs and preferences. If you want something that is easy to clean, durable, and affordable, then the foam rubber type may be just what you’re looking for. It’s inexpensive and easy to care for.
If you prefer something that has a higher level of comfort, durability, and quality, then the memory foam type might be a better choice. It’s thicker, softer, and more expensive but offers greater levels of comfort and support than the foam rubber type.
There are contoured ergonomic mats with massage regions for when you’re barefoot (more on that in a minute), and regular rectangle or square mats.
There are even anti-fatigue balance boards that prompt more frequent movement consisting of a rubberized surface on a wooden plank that allow you to wobble and shift weight while you’re working at your standing desk to combat muscle fatigue.
Can you go barefoot while using a standing desk mat?
Without a doubt, you can use your anti-fatigue mat while barefoot! In fact, many are designed with this kind of use in mind.
Many mats have specially designed regions that will massage the arches of your feet while standing on them.
Some even come with a massage ball roller so that you can roll them around while standing at your desk, massaging your feet at the same time.
The whole idea is to eliminate leg pain and discomfort and make it comfortable for you to stand at your desk while working!
How do I choose the right anti-fatigue mat for my standing desk?
Lots of mats are marketed these days as “anti-fatigue” mats, but that doesn’t mean that they are, in fact, anti-fatigue mats.
Just a random search on Amazon turns up all kinds of mats that are definitely not anti-fatigue mats, but instead, non-slip mats, plush mats, kitchen mats, etc.
The most important part is that you get a mat that is exactly what you need it to be, so read the reviews and know the purpose of the mat before you buy.
The best part about an anti-fatigue mat for your standing desk is how much cushion it offers! You can get an anti-fatigue standing desk mat in thicknesses from 3/4 of an inch all the way up to 1 inch thick or more.
But keep in mind, softer and thicker doesn’t necessarily mean that mat is better. It could be even less comfortable, and cause more issues if your feet are working too hard while standing. You want plenty of cushion but not so much that you can’t stand easily and comfortably.
You need to know what surface you’re going to be using your mat on. That means that your mat should sit flat against the surface you’re standing on and not become an obstacle that you can trip over. They should also have slopped or beveled edges to ensure that your mat isn’t a tripping hazard.
Home Office Hacks’ top anti-fatigue mat for a standing desk
Our pick for the best standing desk anti-fatigue mat is the Ergodriven Topo Comfort Mat.
This mat is meticulously engineered to be used specifically with a standing desk. There are 8 different contoured zones on this mat to help you stay energized and focused encouraging micro-movements to keep your circulation going strong, your energy high, and your productivity at max-levels in your home office, and easily slides under your desk when you’re not using it.
An anti-fatigue mat that’s more cost conscious is the Sky Solutions Anti-fatigue 3/4 inch mat.
This mat comes in a variety of sizes, and unlike the ErgoDriven mat, this one is flat without raised edges. This one masterfully supports your feet while you stand helping improve your posture and balance, and will be a welcome relief to your feet when you’re standing.
Another outstanding choice when it comes to a standing desk mat is the Kangaroo 3/4 inch ergonomic anti-fatigue mat.
This extra thick ergonomically designed helps reduce the stress and pressure on your feet and joints while you’re enjoying the benefits of standing while you work. It’s available in a wide variety of sizes, styles and colors and is incredibly durable for long sessions at your desk.
Want to join others who are creating the most amazing home offices and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home office the best it can be?
Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!