While everyone knows that standing at work and incorporating activity into your day is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle….getting there seems to be a bit of a problem. We think it’s because in the excitement of getting a standing desk, its much needed companion, a standing desk mat, often gets overlooked.
We’ve seen it before: bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, a willing, potential standing desk convert gets their first standing desk and within a few hours they’re tired and discouraged. Instead of reaping the promised benefits of feeling better and more energized from standing at work all they’ve got are sore legs, an aching back and a lack of concentration.
What this person needs is a good standing desk mat. A standing desk on its own isn’t a sufficient…especially if you’re new to standing at work and need to ease into the transition. People weren’t made to stand in a stationary position, on a hard and flat surface for hours at a time. In fact in can be almost as detrimental as sitting for long periods, IF you don’t do it right.
Our bodies crave motion. They’re not designed to be in any one position for an extended period of time. Standing is no exception and adding a standing desk mat under your feet is a total game changer when it comes to making the transition to standing at work AND staying in it for the long haul and making it an enjoyable experience.
There are two different types of anti-fatigue standing desks mats.
NORMAL STANDING DESK MATS
The first type can be bought at almost store these days and you often see them used in kitchens as well. They’re around an inch thick and are flat and pretty one dimensional (in all senses of the word!).
Standing on a hard and flat surface without a mat sucks. Even if you have the world’s best memory foam soled shoes on. After a while the hard ground starts to compress your spine and make your legs and feet ache. An anti-fatigue mat is made of 1-3 inch squishy foam that takes some of the pressure off your joints and muscles and provides and spa-like experience for your feet. This simple attribute alone will help you stand longer and more comfortably.
While normal, flat standing desk mats are a step in the right direction, you can do a lot better for yourself if you’re serious about standing and are spending 6+ hours a day working at your standing desk.
3D TOPOGRAPHICAL STANDING DESK MATS
Topographical standing desks mats are a newer type of anti-fatigue mat being made available to standing desk users. These mats feature 3D like features that are embedded in the foam design that give the user more options for different stances. The CubeFit TerraMat which raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter took the concept a step further and includes features that help you stretch your legs and massage your feet as you work. The two massage balls are perfect for relieving tired soles or arches as well as symptoms of plantar fasciitis. The power wedge allows you to stretch out your calves and the balance bar is perfect for another stretching variation or for balancing core work as you read emails.
Standing at work is great…but the ultimate goal should really be constant subtle movement and fidgeting while you stand. This helps avoid a slowing heart rate, blood pooling, stiff and sore legs and a compressed spine. Topographical standing desk mats will help you fidget more and inspire subconscious movement because of the varied terrain.
If you’ve been trying to get the knack of standing at work without hating your life by the end of the day, consider investing in a quality standing desk mat. Everyone who has used the TerraMat so far has commented on how they immediately were able to stand longer without getting sore or fatigued and are able to concentrate better!