Finding the Right Standing Desk Mat
The solution to those aching feet may lie in finding the right mat. A Standing desk mat will allow you to keep working at your adjustable height desk for longer, but choosing the right mat is important. You need a mat that gives comfort but is not so soft your foot sinks through to the floor; you want enough firmness to keep you supported and cushioned throughout a work day. Another feature to look for is non curl edges. The best mats come with inclined, beveled edges that grip the floor and do not curl.
One note about Mats before you buy one. “Standing Desk Mats” that you buy from companies that sell standing desks, converters, treadmill desks and the like are specially designed for someone wearing shoes. “Kitchen Mats” are generally designed for someone who is not wearing shoes. If you buy something cheap from Walmart, Costco, or your local store you are not getting what is best for you. There is a HUGE difference in the types of foam that make you comfortable in shoes versus socks or bare feet year after year. Figure out which you need and where you’re going to buy before you get something that is just cheap.
|Image||Standing Desk Mat||Rating||Price|
|Premium Standing Desk Mat 3'x2'|
|Ergotron WorkFit Anti-Fatigue Mat 3'x2'||$199|
|Ecolast Budget Mat||$72|
|Premium Standing Mat 5'x4'||$299|
You should also look for a mat that is large enough to allow for some foot re-positioning but small enough that it doesn’t take up chair space. You shift weight from one foot to the next throughout the day; a step here and there increases the comfort level. Because you will be standing on the mat for a long time and may sometimes not have shoes on, you want a mat with antimicrobial properties that is easy to clean.
Imprint Comfort Mat – Nantucket Series
The Imprint Comfort Mat is one of the most popular available on Amazon. The University of Michigan Center of Ergonomics, after extensive testing, said the mat reduced overall fatigue and discomfort by up to 60%. The mat is designed with no curl edges and stay flat memory foam. It is big enough at 20 inches by 36 inches to allow for some foot movement, but small enough to be unobtrusive. It comes with a seven year warranty and is made from non-toxic materials in the USA. The price on Amazon is about $54. Amazon reviewers who used the mat for shorter-term tasks felt it couldn’t be beat, but several who used it for very long hours standing at a desk felt it was too soft and allowed for leg fatigue later in the day.
Genuine Joe Anti-Fatigue
The Genuine Joe Anti-Fatigue Mat is the least expensive in this comparison. It is a three-eighths-inch ribbed mat of firm vinyl foam made in the USA. The ribbing makes it not as comfortable on bare feet as some of the others, and barefoot users complained it was also too firm for them. Everyone agreed it was durable, non-slip and had non-curling edges. A few said it did not provide the support needed for full-day use, but all agreed it provided good short term support. Most felt it was every bit as good as its more expensive competitors.
New Life Gel Pro
Contrary to its name, it is not a gel but an eco-friendly, plant-based foam cushion. The New Life Gel Pro is three-fourths-inch thick and is slip-, stain-, mildew- and fade-resistant. It is antimicrobial and is manufactured in the USA. At 20 inches by 32 inches, it allows room for foot movement. Gel Pro says the foam provides the perfect balance between support and cushioning; they recommend it for teachers and other workers who have to be on their feet for long periods. Amazon sells it for around $40, and several reviewers said they could work comfortably at their standing desks all day with the mat.
The Wellness Mat
At about $100 on Amazon, the WellnessMats 36-Inch by 24-Inch Original Mat is the most expensive in this comparison. It has received only six reviews on Amazon, with all reviewers giving it the top rating except one person who didn’t like the color and one who thought it was too thick. No one rated it for long term use on the job, but elsewhere on the internet a fairly comprehensive analysis of a few work mats found the Wellness to be their first backup choice. At 36 inches by 24 inches, it is a little larger than the others. If space is very tight, that could be an issue. Reviewers say the mat provides comfort even on an all-day job. It is made of 100 percent polyurethane and is guaranteed never to curl at the edges or compress. It has a seven year warranty and is made in the USA.
When you sit on and off throughout the day, it is tempting to pull a chair up without removing the mat. It is better not to do that. Either the mat should be moved out of the way, or another part of the work area should be designated for sitting. A chair on a mat designed for standing will wear the mat down in places, may tear it and may provide for unstable sitting if the mat is a high one. Smaller standing desk mats are recommended for that reason; if the mat covers only the area directly in front of a standing desk, a chair is less likely to be placed on it.
The benefits of a standing desk have been measured. People are more productive when not sitting all day. They do feel more alert at the end of a standing day than a sitting day. And some of the proponents of the style are some of the most creative people who have ever lived. Because standing keeps your productivity and mental alertness levels higher, it makes sense to choose a mat that allows for longer periods of standing.
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