Standing desk users usually name anti-fatigue mats as their #1 must-have accessory – not a luxury, a necessity! If you’re standing for several hours a day (especially on a hard floor), using a mat is the best way to protect your body from common ailments like “ouch my back” and “oh, my aching feet!” . Folks with jobs that require a lot of standing may not have any use for the standing desk trend, but they’ll sing the praises of anti-fatigue mats all day long – just ask any nurse, mail carrier, restaurant employee, or factory worker you know!
Standing for a long time hurts because it is basically a battle between you and gravity. Without the proper cushion and support, guess who wins? To maintain equilibrium and an upright position, your body has to constantly tense certain muscles, which results in a static stress situation. When standing on a hard surface, prolonged muscular contraction can lead to joint pain, spinal compression, plantar fasciitis and the dreaded varicose veins.
Anti-fatigue mats are engineered to make the body naturally and imperceptibly sway, which encourages subtle movement of the leg muscles. This promotes blood flow and prevents stagnation in the veins – and, incidentally, burns more calories! So, what you’re looking for in a mat is one that’s not so hard it discourages muscle movement, but not so springy it requires too much energy to maintain balance, creating a different kind of stress.
The VARIDESK mat is made to hit that sweet spot between firm support and springy comfort. Most importantly, remember to switch positions throughout the day, incorporating movement as well as sitting and standing. Also, practice proper ergonomics – the best mat or chair in the world can’t help you if you’re slouching, hunching, or otherwise mistreating your spine. Here’s a great ergonomics primer to help you get the most out of your standing desk and mat.