The best standing desk mat is a smart accompaniment to a standup desk if you have knee, ankle or lower back problems. While it’s been proven that standing for at least part of the workday has significant health benefits, standing on a concrete or tile floor all day can also cause pain and injury. But a standing desk mat can prevent problems and allow you to stand for longer than you thought possible.
Choosing the best standing desk mat means getting one that’s large enough without taking up too much floor space — and you shouldn’t have to pay a fortune for it either. The right mat has a moderate size, a moderate price tag and plenty of padding to make standing a pleasure rather than drudgery.
Don’t think a standing mat can make a different at your desk? Consider this: cashiers, assembly line workers and cooks who must stand all day usually stand on mats as often as they can. And many homes have padded mats at the kitchen sink and at the stove to relieve some of the pressure when cooking or washing up.
You see, using a stand-up desk can help with back and shoulder pain, but using it without the best standing desk mat you can obtain can cause a world of new lower back, knee, ankle and leg problems caused from prolonged pressure on the bottoms of your feet. Along with good shoes, nothing can help make standing to work more pleasant and more beneficial than one of these mats.
My First Choice For Best Standing Desk Mat
With thick support that makes a real difference in the stand-up working experience, the NewLife by GelPro Pebble Designer Comfort Mat — available from Amazon — is my first choice in standing mats. It features everything you could want from a mat, including beveled edges that help you avoid tripping as you step onto and off of the mat throughout your day and a level of durability than means you’ll get years of use from it.
And if it matters to you, this mat is made in the United States.
The word “pebble” in the name may be a bit confusing. The mat is smooth and flat, so it doesn’t feel like standing on pebbles at all. The top fabric is printed with a small pebble design, and that’s where the name comes from. This can be especially confusing since the pebble pattern doesn’t show up very well in some photos of the mat.
The fabric top layer is also stain-resistant. That means it will look great for years. And if you decide to get another one of these as a kitchen mat, you won’t ruin it if you drop a bit of food on it.
Keep in mind that even the best standing mat shouldn’t be used on plush carpeting or on top of another mat. In these cases, they can move around, causing them to be more of a hazard than a help. Use this and all standing mats on hard floors in an office, kitchen, garage or wherever you’ll be working while standing for an extended time. This one works fine on the kind of thin carpeting found in many offices also.
Another Great Anti-Fatigue Mat
With a rather uninteresting name, the Quality 3/4 Inch Anti Fatigue Mat — also available from Amazon — is a great choice if the other mat happens to be sold out at the moment or if you want a second choice. You’ll like the fact that this mat has an unconditional lifetime guarantee and a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, meaning you’re not putting your money at risk to give it a try.
Like the first option, it features contoured edges and non-skid bottom. While it’s promoted as working on all floor types, the warning above about using on thick carpeting still stands. The carpeting itself might be all the padding you need in that case anyway.
Since this pad features a high-density solid foam — not memory foam — you won’t see foot indentation marks on this mat nor will it stretch out of shape as more flexible foams will. That means its great for the prolonged use it’s sure to get in an office environment. And it’s affordable enough that a company’s leadership might want to consider getting one for every employee, especially since it can limit insurance claims for back and leg problems related to standing for long periods of time.
Research Shows Benefits And Drawbacks Of Working Standing Up
There’s no doubt that those who have spent years sitting in an office chair develop physical problems because of it. But those who work standing and without cushioning and sitting breaks also have problems as a result.
Choosing to stand at work but also choosing to use the best standing mat you can afford gives you all the benefits of standing with none of the drawbacks.
Research has indicated that standing for even 90 minutes a day on a concrete floor over the course of a five-day workweek can cause pain and problems with the back, legs and feet. Plus, even neck stiffness and shoulder problems can be attributed to standing for long periods. It’s even possible to get serious problems with the circulatory system when standing without breaks, cushioning and other help. The best standing desk mat you can find can help eliminate those concerns from your life.
The following advice applied to anyone who stands while working:
Change positions when you can. Sitting or standing in a single position for a prolonged time is dangerous. Keep shifting around whether sitting or standing.
Take frequent breaks. Some of us skip breaks or don’t change positions when on our break, and that’s not healthy. Take some timeouts and use your break to rest the muscles you use while working. If you work sitting, take your break standing. If you’ve been standing, then sit for a few minutes during your break.
Think about what you do on your time off. Before and after work and on days off, include activities that help undo the damage of working. If you work with small, tedious tasks close at hand, find a hobby that allows you to stretch out, like tennis or weight training. If you work with large objects, fine-tune your motor skills with model-building or a gaming system, for example.
Always choose variety. If the boss offers you the chance to go outside the office for a few hours and run errands, take it. Does some moving or cleaning at work need to be done? Help out. In addition to making the day go faster, variety helps keep your body pain-free and moving well.
The Best Standing Mat Can Make A Real Difference
The best standing mat can very literally change the way you feel about your work. Whether your work has always involved standing up or you’re experimenting with a standing desk, choosing an anti-fatigue mat can allow you to work standing up for a longer time and with fewer side effects — and in today’s fast-paced world, working longer means a better chance of getting ahead.
The best standing mat is one with plenty of padding, contoured edges and sturdy foam that won’t go out of shape after long-term use, and the two suggestions above fit the bill perfectly.