A lot of people now understand the benefits of using a standing desk. But then, not as much people understand the importance of getting a standing desk mat. It is, however, quite important that you get a standing desk mat (also known as an anti-fatigue mat) to go along with your standing desk as this helps you derive optimum benefit from your desk. I am quite familiar with using a standing desk at work as well as with sitting down and it is because of this experience that I understand why it is important to get an anti-fatigue mat to go along with your standing desk.
So, why is it important that you get a standing desk mat? Standing desk mat (anti-fatigue mat) provides comfort and support for your feet thereby allowing you to work standing longer, lowers aches and fatigue which translates to more productivity. There are a number of things that you need to consider before choosing a standing desk mat as the wrong mat can lead to the worsening of your condition instead of helping it.
Standing on your feet all day might be a daunting task, what with the leg ache and discomfort your feet are sure to feel. A standing desk mat is a solution to the aforementioned problems. Without which you would choose a bad mat which can be just as bad, or even worse as choosing no mat at all. These are explained below.
Before we dive deeper into this topic, we need to understand what exactly a standing desk is and why more and more people are adopting it as their preferred desk to work with.
What is a standing desk?
The name, along with the preceding discussion should have given a hint as to what a standing desk is, but just in case you don’t know; a standing desk is a type of desk that you use while on your feet. Simple, right? It is an alternative to a sitting desk and is meant for people looking to incorporate some level of physical activity to their working routine.
Why a Standing Desk?
Unless you have been on some remote outpost with no access to human civilization, you know that several studies have shown that sitting long hours at a desk working is unhealthy. It has been proven that such a mode of working and a generally sedentary lifestyle leads to obesity. Apart from this, it also predisposes you to have heart disease, type 2 diabetes as well as a shorter life span. This has led to these three diseases combined being tagged sitting disease. What makes this worse is the fact that the dangers sitting for such long periods expose someone to are not exactly eliminated by exercising or dieting although they are reduced. This is the answer to the question that is the topic of the section. Standing desks are a way to work on our feet, literally. It is believed that this is a healthier and more active way of working than sitting down which, if you think about it, it’s true.
Apart from the fact that it makes logical sense, studies exist that show that using a standing desk is good for human health.
The following are the advantages you gain when you use a standing desk to work as opposed to a sitting desk;
Lessen the risk of becoming obese: when you use a standing desk, you have a lower risk of gaining weight and becoming obese. This is because you burn more calories than you probably eat. Sitting down for long periods means that you are not getting much physical activity which translates to calories accumulating in your body and eventually to weight gain and obesity.
Significantly reduce back pain issues: while it is unavoidable, as you grow older, you will be prone to back pain issues, it is possible to avoid that which is induced by sitting down for long periods. This particular issue is one of the things that employees complain about the most about sitting down to work. A simple solution would be not to sit down quite so much, hence, a switch from a sitting down desk to a standing desk. Studies exist that show that using a standing desk as opposed to a sitting desk significantly reduces the possibility of back pain occurring in people.
Reduce the risk of having diabetes: it is not illogical to expect people who get little to no physical activity and accumulate calories to have increased blood sugar. This is exactly the case with workers who sit down for their entire working hours. It is also not farfetched to see a continued increase in blood sugar level that may result in Type 2 diabetes if unchecked. Sadly, this is a possibility for people who sit down for long hours at work.
People who use a standing desk, on the other hand, have a much lesser risk of having high blood sugar. This is for no other reason than that they are physically active. This means that they are constantly burning off blood sugar and are therefore less prone to developing diabetes. Certain studies exist that shows that people who use standing desks have reduced blood sugar levels than those who sit down all day.
Less chance of developing heart disease: still another advantage to using a standing desk is the fact that it dramatically reduces the possibility of developing heart disease. As already mentioned (and is widely known), an inactive lifestyle is a catastrophe waiting to happen. It is very unhealthy and opens a person up to several diseases, and some of these can be heart-related. Workers who engage in an inactive lifestyle have quite a high risk of developing heart disease in their lifetime while those who are active have a much lower risk of such.
More positivity: studies have shown that a link exists between sitting down for long periods and depression and anxiety. A study conducted in 2011, the “Take-a-Stand Project” showed this by experimenting with office workers. Whereas sitting down leads to negative moods, this study also discovered that standing up, on the other hand, leads to a better mood. This points to the need to stand more as opposed to sitting down.
Better productivity: in light of the all the benefits that can be attributed to using a standing desk, it is only logical to expect those who work this way to have better output than those who sit down. This expectation is correct as it is true that those who use standing desks are more productive than their sitting desk counterparts.
This can be traced to the fact that they are healthier, more active, more positive and are also happier. Put all these together, and you will have a more productive worker.
What is a Standing Desk Mat?
A standing desk mat is quite simply, a mat that you stand on to be comfortable standing — standing for a long time while very beneficial to health can be quite uncomfortable especially if the conditions are not right. Add to that the fact that you will be wearing shoes while at work and standing in those. Standing desk mats (or anti-fatigue mats) make standing to work less of a chore than it would otherwise be. They provide comfort and support for the standing worker and help reduce the aching and discomfort that would otherwise come with standing for an extended period.
Choosing the Right Standing Desk Mat
As already stated, it is quite important to choose the right mat if you expect to gain the full benefits that come with using a standing desk mat and ultimately, a standing desk. This is because the wrong mat can lead to the worsening of your condition instead of helping it.
· The right standing desk mat will be soft enough to provide comfort for your feet but not too soft such that they will sink through it.
· A good standing desk mat should have non-grip edges. The edges should be beveled and inclined; this prevents them from curling into the floor while at the same time ensuring that they grip it well. This increases the support you get from them.
· Another feature you should be on the lookout for is how large the mat is. You want to buy an anti-fatigue mat that is large enough to allow you to shift and reposition your legs while working. You do not want it to be so large that it takes up the space meant for a chair space though as this will only lead to frustration. Ensure that you strike the right balance.
· A good standing desk mat will be one that has antimicrobial properties and can be cleaned quite easily. This is because you will be standing on your mat for quite a long time, and every day for that matter. There probably will be days when you will have your shoes off. And seeing as you will be working with it and the likelihood of having two mats such that you can interchange is slim, it is important that the mat is easy to clean. It is also important that it has antimicrobial properties, or you will soon find that your workplace has an unpleasant odor that will more than likely disturb your workflow.
Types of mats
There are two types of mats that you can make use of with your standing desk. The first type of standing desk mat is tagged “normal standing desk mat” while the second type is known as the 3D “topographical standing desk mat.”
Normal standing desk mats
This kind of standing desk mat is one dimensional. It comes in a flat style and can be picked up from any store. This mat has especially found application in the kitchen where it is meant to provide support during the times spent in this part of the house. They are usually about 1 inch in thickness, help relieve leg pressure to a certain extent and provide support for the feet while standing.
3D Topographical Standing Desk Mats
This type of mat became available of recent. They are designed and manufactured especially for people who stand on their feet for long periods to work. 3D topographical standing desk mats come equipped with 3D like features that help them provide increased comfort and support to the workers who use them. The 3D features afford the user many opportunities where comfort is concerned as they allow the user to switch from one posture and stance to another.
The 3D features of this type of mat can help massage the balls and soles of your feet while you work among other things.
Standing desk mats make switching stances while working seamlessly and very convenient. This is quite important as standing rooted to one spot can lead to health complication such as a reduction in heart rate, sore legs, stiff legs as well as blood pooling. This issues that may arise with standing for hours on your feet are eliminated when you use a 3D topographical standing desk mat which encourages you to fidget and constantly move your feet.
Three benefits you are sure to derive from using an anti-fatigue mat
Reduced fatigue: because you will feel more comfortable than you would while standing on the bare, hard floor, an anti-fatigue mat will lead to reduced fatigue for you when working with your standing desk.
Reduce aches: without an anti-fatigue mat, it is quite natural to experience a load of leg aches. This negates the point of using a standing desk in the first place as the purpose is to achieve more comfort and do away with pain. An anti-fatigue mat will reduce the amount of leg ache you feel by providing comfort and support for your feet. The softness of this mat within which your legs will disappear while standing is very comfortable.
Improves productivity: when your legs no longer ache you and do you not have to focus on that pain while at work, the other logical thing to focus on will be work itself. Having a standing desk mat means you will be much more productive than you would be without it.
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Some related questions
What accessories do I need with my standing desk?
To gain the full benefits that come with using a standing desk, there are certain accessories that you should consider getting. These include;
Supportive and comfortable shoes: for somebody who will be standing for long hours, it is only logical that you wear shoes that support your feet and are as comfortable as possible.
Mini elliptical trainer: this allows you to get some physical activity while you work.
Foot roller: a foot roller can come in handy with your standing desk. They are usually used for different exercises which you can incorporate with your standing desk so that you can slip on some exercise while working.
Ergonomic monitor mounts: this allows you to switch position while working. You mount your monitor on this and set it at a position you are currently interested in assuming such as sitting down. They make it easy to adjust from a sitting working position to a standing one.
Step stool: a step stool offers versatility and encourages constant movement while working. Say for instance that you are tired of shifting from the ball of one foot to the other, you can easily shift by placing one foot on the step stool and instantly feel more comfortable.
Is a standing desk mat necessary?
Yes. If you are looking to take full advantage of a standing desk, then, you need to get a standing desk mat. This will significantly enhance your working experience.