There are a lot of benefits to using a standing desk if you use one correctly. One of the ways that you can improve upon your use of a standing desk is with the use of a standing desk mat. It is important to know the types of mats available and how to properly use them. But first, let’s look at what a standing desk mat is and the benefits of using one.
Also, check out this video about standing desk mats and the different types available.
What is a Standing Desk Mat?
A standing desk mat, also called an anti-fatigue mat, is a mat that you can stand on while using your standing desk in order to be more comfortable. A lot of people find that they are uncomfortable or suffer from foot pain when they switch to using a standing desk and a mat can help to prevent that.
Standing for a prolonged period of time, and doing so every day, can have a negative affect on your body. Standing too much can cause neck, back, and foot pain. These nagging pains may make it more difficult for you to acquire the benefits of using a standing desk.
Anti-fatigue mats are softer than the hard floor. In addition, there are tons of different options that also encourage subtle movement in your muscles which can keep blood flowing and help you benefit greatly from the use of the standing desk.
Finally, these mats do not have to be used with a standing desk. They can be good for any profession that requires a lot of standing or even to use while cooking or watching television at home.
Benefits of Using a Standing Desk Mat
There are a couple of studies so far that show the benefits of using a standing desk mat. This one found that anti-fatigue mats were associated with reduced back pain. Another study showed that they reduced discomfort. Let’s look at all the benefits of using a standing desk mat.
Standing on hard floors, especially for prolonged periods of time can compress the joints in your feet, back, legs, and throughout the body. Soft surfaces like carpet can also be bad because they are not very stable and you may be pushing through to stand on the hard floor underneath the carpet anyway. A quality anti-fatigue mat can give you support that can take the tension and strain out of your joints
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This may be the most beneficial effect for those suffering from joint pain. It can also be great for your knees. Standing can put a lot of weight on the knees which can strain their components like the ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
When we stand on a hard surface for a long time, our leg muscles compress and the blood pools down. When we use a standing desk mat, the blood will be pumped and the muscles will contract. This can help to prevent heart issues associated with prolonged periods of standing.
The use of a standing desk mat can be much more comfortable. Also, a lot of people feel foot pain or leg fatigue when they first switch to a standing desk. A mat can help to prevent these pais and allow you to combat the negative effects of sitting by being able to comfortably stand for longer periods of time.
The subtle movements in the feet and legs can not only reduce the strain on your body, but it can also help you avoid mental fatigue as well. This means that you may feel better or even be more productive than you would be with a traditional desk or a standing desk without a mat.
How Thick Should Anti-Fatigue Mats Be?
It is best to have a mat that is at least ⅜ inches thick. Any thinner than this and you will not have the amount of support that you are looking for. In addition, you want to strive for a mat that is ¾ to 1 inch thick. This will not create a tripping hazard, but will still provide ample support.
There are some other considerations as well. A dense rubber mat will be more supportive than softer types. A foam mat that is too soft will feel comfortable at first, but it may be more tiring in the long run.
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You should also consider the size of the mat. You want one that is large enough to position yourself easily onto without having to think about it. However, you also do not want one that is in the way. Most smaller mats are two to three feet long, but there are also some made for large work areas. If you move around to different desks during the work day, you may want to purchase a larger mat or multiple mats to ensure that you can properly utilize them.
What are Anti-Fatigue Mats Made Of?
There are a few different materials used for anti-fatigue mats. You should consider all options, but some work better than others for different benefits.
This is the most affordable material for anti-fatigue mats. They can be good for light use, but they will have to be replaced more often than other types because they become compressed over time.
Foam rubber mats have multiple layers of foam and rubber. They are great for long-term use and durable. They are also easy to clean and work well in high use areas.
This is the most durable and strong material that is commonly used for standing desk mats. They are great for shock absorption and can increase comfort levels. However, they are not as good as other options for fighting physical fatigue. They are best for industrial environments.
Gel mats are great because they have a core with a gelatin consistency. They are usually covered with durable materials that are easy to clean. The gel provides the movement and support that can battle fatigue and increase comfort when using a standing desk.
Can You Put a Chair on an Anti-Fatigue Mat?
There is no simple answer to this question. Some mats would be impossible to use with a chair because of their size, shape, density, and thickness. However, there are some options that would allow you to use a chair. A lot of mats have a slope towards the floor so that a rolling chair would be able to slide on and off more easily as well. However, it also depends on the type of flooring you have. This brings me to the next section.
Do Anti-Fatigue Mats Work on Carpets?
Again, this depends greatly on the mat that you plan on using. However, most will be much preferable on top of carpet as opposed to standing directly on the carpet. Carpet may cause less pain in your joints and feet than hard flooring like tile or concrete, but your legs will still begin to fatigue and burn after prolonged standing.
When the standing desk mat is placed on top of the carpet, it may not be as supportive or stable so you will want to take that into account. What you can do is purchase a heavier mat that will compress the carpet more. You may also want to strive for a mat made out of hard rubber, foam rubber, or gel. These ones tend to work better on carpet than the ones made out of foam.
What is the Best Chair Mat for a Carpet?
There are a lot of good options for chair mats that work on carpets depending on your style and size requirements. If you plan on moving an anti-fatigue mat out of the way and moving a mat for your chair whenever you switch from standing to sitting, you should make sure that you purchase one that is not too heavy.
The best ones, like this one, are made out of polycarbonate. This is a durable polymer that is used for affordable, but durable chair mats. It does not curl or crack very easily. In addition, they usually have spikes that grab onto the carpet so that the chair can roll over the mat without it moving.
Another consideration is the thickness of the chair mat. You should try not to purchase one that is too thin. There are mats that are as thin as 2 mm, but you should try to purchase one that is at least 3 or 4 mm thick. In addition, if you have deeper carpeting, then you will want to get a chair mat that is even thicker.
Final Thoughts on Standing Desk Mats
Standing desk mats are an essential accessory for anyone that wants to use a standing desk to improve their overall health. Standing desks can be great for a lot of things, but you will not want to use one if your legs, feet, and back are sore. An anti-fatigue mat can prevent these types of aches and pains and, in turn, may improve your productivity levels as well.