Standing at work is the first smart choice you can take toward managing your health and combating the long-term effects of a sedentary lifestyle; and although standing workstations may seem like just another trend sweeping workplaces, there’s a whole lot of science to back up just why they’ve become so popular.
So what's the second smart choice you can make? Placing an anti-fatigue standing desk mat or better yet, a standing board under your desk you will take your already healthy standing desk and make it even healthier.
If you have already been convinced to get a standing desk, that's awesome, but it’s really just the first step you should take on your journey to office wellness. One recent study published in December 2017 found that when participants used a product that allowed them to swing or move their feet at random while sitting, their metabolism was elevated by about 17% compared to when they were just sitting or standing without movement. Translation: more calories were burned when movement was added.
Balance board benefits are clear; your goal should not be to simply stand, but also to move — more.
A basic no-frills standing desk pad can work wonders to reduce stress on your legs and feet when standing for prolonged periods, but a contoured mat or a balance board can do even more. Both encourage movement and allow you to stretch lower limbs while standing, which help combat back pain and postural fatigue. Most anti-fatigue mats you will find on the market fall into one of three categories: a flat standing mat, a contoured mat, or a standing/balance board.
Adding a simple anti-fatigue mat is the first step you can take to enhancing your standing desk. A flat standing desk mat is great for soothing aches and pains associated with long hours spent at your desk letting you increase your time spent standing. The mat is made of durable polyurethane foam so it won’t lose its shape over time, the no-trip beveled edges prevent the mat from being a walking hazard, and the anti-slip surface on the bottom makes it so there is no need to constantly re-align the mat.
A step up from a basic anti-fatigue mat, a contoured mat not only cushions your feet, but the sloped edges let you stretch out muscles, massage pressure points on your feet, and promotes continuous dynamic movement. The mat will encourage you to get moving and keep moving without haven't to take your focus off your work to remember to do so. If you're looking to take the first step of bringing movement to your standing desk, the contoured mat is your perfect fit.
Balance boards for standing desks are the most recent members to join the LifeSpan Workplace family. Their unique design allows you to further engage your muscles by rocking back-and-forth or side-to-side while standing at your desk. The LifeSpan AirSoft Board was engineered specifically for use in an office setting to enhance standing desk health benefits. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it is 100% adjustable around how much you want to move. By placing the cushions on the outside corners of the board, the board will only allow for small, micro-movements require little effort to keep your body stabilized. Where placing the cushions in the center of the board will let the board have more of a wobble effect, requiring a little more focus to keep your body centered.
|Standing Mat||None||Rectangular - flat||Polyurethane foam||No effort required||The standing mat adds a layer of comfort beneath your feet reducing muscle fatigue from standing for long periods of time.||Learn more|
|Contoured Mat||Minimal||Rectangular - contoured with sloped edges||Polyurethane foam||No effort required||In addition to cushioning your feet, the contoured mat lets you stretch out leg muscles, massage pressure points on your feet, and promotes continuous dynamic movement.||Learn more|
|AirSoft Standing Board||High||Rectangular with rounded edges||Birch wood with rubber cushions||Adjustable effort levels based on cushion placement||AirSoft enhances your functional strength and increase coordination, improving your balance and stability, reducing back and joint pain, and even helps alleviate arthritis in your knees.||Learn more|
You don’t have to look far and wide to find research that shows standing desk health benefits, but here’s the gist of what you will find.
Standing at work benefits:
Standing while moving benefits:
What’s the right balance between sitting, standing and moving? Adding a standing desk pad or standing board to your desk can take some getting used. We recommend that 25-50% of your work day include varied movement such as standing with a mat or a board, walking on a treadmill desk, or even pedaling at a bike desk.
Allan Hedge, director of Cornell University's Human Factors and Ergonomics programs, suggests varying a 30-minute period by sitting 20 minutes, standing 8 minutes, and moving around and stretching for two minutes.
For more information on proper ergonomics, checkout this page on standing desk ergonomics.