The latest addition to the office landscape has been the standing desk. In conjunction with these desks are one of its main accessories - the anti-fatigue or standing mat.
They do feel great under your feet and I believe a good mat can help in the reduction of fatigue – however, there a few things to consider when choosing a mat to get the best results from your standing desk.
A good mat should find the balance between function and durability. I have seen mats made out of what can only be considered as conveyor belt rubber – tough as nails but hard as rock (so what’s the point?). On the other end, I have seen mats as soft as a cloud but flimsy, and not going to last long under the feet of an enthusiastic stander. A good mat will find the right balance between the two.
Also remember, the recommendation is not to stand all day but to alternate between standing and sitting throughout the day. When changing from a standing to a sitting position, the mat must be removed to allow the chair to roll under the desk effectively. Standing Mats are NOT designed to have chairs rolled over them. With this being the case, anyone with a back injury should think about the fact they may have to bend down every time they change from sitting to standing and vice versa.
Other things you may consider are:
- Size – How big do you need and how much of it will you use?
- Weight - Some large mats can be extremely heavy. If you are a petite person or have an injury this may be a factor to consider.
- Space - Where are you going to put it when it’s not being used?
- Footwear - High Heels are not recommended on most mats for the following reasons:
- Pointy heals can puncture the rubber surface coating
- High heels are not ideal for standing (opening a whole other discussion)
- Grip - Make sure the mat is suitable for your floor surface. You do not want the mat skidding out from under you when you stand on it.