Pain Free Working

A Complete Guide to Standing Mats

Transitioning from a traditional workstation into a sit-stand desk or a desk riser can be pretty difficult, especially when standing for long periods of time seem to be contributing to your aches and pains. A standing mat is an excellent way to combat such discomfort and joint problems. However, before you go out and purchase the first standing mat you come across, read through this guide to better understand the purposes of standing mats and discover what mats are best for you.

What is a Standing Mat?

A standing mat is a rubber mat that reduces fatigue and discomfort for those with job roles that require standing for long periods of time. They can be used in factories and warehouses, as well as individual workstations. For this post, standing mat will refer to a rubber mat intended for use with a standing desk or a desk riser, though technically, it can be used outside of a conventional workstation or home office where a task demands standing for an extended amount of time, such as in the kitchen or garage.

This item varies greatly from a regular mat. Firstly, it has a cushioned surface that allows for movement in the feet, and by extension, movement in the legs and body. The soft surfaces encourages foot muscle contraction and expansion that you also experience while walking. Although you are standing, these micro movements keep your body moving and blood flowing.

Standing mats also have grips on the bottom and anti-slip features on the surface to prevent injuries.

Alternatively, others may call a standing mat as an anti-fatigue mat, anti-fatigue standing mat, or a standing desk mat.

What Are the Benefits of a Standing Mat?

A standing mat goes deeper than solely improving your overall comfort while standing. Check out all the benefits of using a standing desk mat.

It improves blood circulation

The cushioned surface causes your feet to constantly shift weight without putting too much pressure on each foot. As your feet and legs are working, so is the venous or skeletal-muscle pump. This pumps blood back into the heart, thus improving arterial blood flow and circulation.

It improves posture

Hard floors compress the spinal cord when standing. Anti-fatigue mats, on the other hand, absorb the shock, taking the stress away from your spinal cord, reducing hip and back problems. It also reduces neck pains, so you’re no longer slouching while you stand.

You’re less likely to develop other health issues

Joint damage and swelling in your feet and legs are common problems associated with standing for hours on end. Without the proper support, standing workers may develop venous disorders like varicose veins, orthopedic food problems like Achilles Tendinitis and rheumatic diseases. A standing mat addresses all those issues by promoting activity while seemingly standing still.

It increases productivity

Research studies on anti-fatigue mats reveal all the positive impacts on health, which in turn increases productivity in workers. This isn’t all that surprising, considering health problems and discomfort are the main reasons employees don’t work as efficiently as they would if they didn’t experience fatigue and tension throughout the body.

It reduces energy consumption

Your body tires out more easily when you’re feet are planted flat on the ground for a long time. Believe it or not, you consume more energy by standing still. Because standing mats encourage those micro movements in your foot and leg muscles, your body becomes more efficient in energy usage, allowing you to stand and work for longer, with decreased chances of fatigue.

How to Use a Standing Mat

Use it with a tall table or counter, sit-stand desk or desk riser

Whether you’ve upgraded to a standing desk, a desk riser, or want to bring your laptop over to the tall counters in the office rec area, a standing mat will ensure you are productive and comfortable while you work on your feet.

Place one at any part of the house where standing is required

One of the amazing features of an anti-fatigue mat is its effectiveness at any workstation where you need to stand for long periods of time. From the garage to the kitchen, a standing mat makes it much easier to be on your two feet, minus the aches and pains.

Align your mat properly with your desk

A standing mat doesn’t work if you have one foot on and the other off the mat. To get the most out of your mat, the front should alight with the edge of your desk, centered perfectly with your computer monitor or laptop. This alignment ensure that even if you shift weight between your legs, your feet never actually leave the mat.

Place your feet on the massage mounds

Some mats have massage points throughout, but those are usually on larger mats suited for warehouse or factory settings. Ones specific for desks and small workstations normally have massage mounds in an outline of feet as a guide. Place your feet on these mounds for maximum comfort and benefits.

Note: This does not apply to all mats. Some anti-fatigue mats have no mounds and are simply flat cushioned mats. Others have ribbed surfaces so they offer equal support on the entire mat.

What to Look for in a Standing Mat

IMAGE: FLEXISPOT

Standing mats vary in thickness and support. To figure out what product is best for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your main purpose of buying a standing mat? Are you simply looking for comfort or do you have posture problems? Do you have foot and knee pains?
  • Do you need an industrial grade standing mat? What kind of thickness or support are you looking for?
  • How many hours of the work day you spend on your feet? Do you have a sit-stand desk where you can switch between seated and standing positions? Or does your job require you to stand for an extended amount of time?
  • How large is your workstation? Will you need more than one anti-fatigue mat or a larger one?