9 Best Anti-Fatigue Mats for Your Standing Desk
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Rest your feet and your body with these expert-recommended anti-fatigue mats for maximum comfort and support while you stand.
The benefits of standing
If you’ve invested in a standing desk to help counter the effects of prolonged sitting, good for you. Numerous studies have linked a sedentary lifestyle to a higher risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Even though you may have to stay cooped up behind a desk for your 9-to-5 workday, doing much of your work standing up can be beneficial.
Studies show that the use of a standing desk may lower your blood pressure, reduce back pain, and even boost mood. If you’re going the standing desk route, however, you’re going to need an anti-fatigue mat to go along with it. (Check out some more healthy workspace tips.)
What is an anti-fatigue mat?
This kind of mat is specifically designed to decrease stress on joints and make for an easier, less painful workday, explains Jason Kart, a Chicago-based physical therapist and owner of Core Physical Therapy The Loop. “Your bones are solid and transfer stress to areas that will ‘give,’” he says. “Joint surfaces like cartilage and knee meniscus will absorb and compress, but when you’re standing on a mat, that will compress instead of those joint surfaces.”
Benefits of using an anti-fatigue mat
In general, anti-fatigue mats can help make the process of standing for long periods of time more tolerable. “In addition to reducing musculoskeletal discomfort and promoting blood flow, the best anti-fatigue mats encourage you to move by causing subtle foot movements to adapt to the cushioned surface,” says Kelly Borowiec, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified personal trainer and founder of Keebs Fitness. “These movements increase blood flow and prevent it from stagnating in the lower body,” she says.
Check out these rules of desk ergonomics.
Who should use an anti-fatigue mat?
If you have to stand for a prolonged period of time, you’ll likely benefit from using an anti-fatigue mat. These include people doing office work at a standing desk with a computer, food preparers, customer service people at desks and counters, and even operating room personnel (if they can keep the mat sterile enough).
What to consider when buying an anti-fatigue mat
When choosing between various anti-fatigue mats, there are a few key things to consider:
Considering this is a mat you’ll likely spend the majority of the day standing on, you want it to be comfortable. “You want a mat that is soft, but not too soft,” says Lindsay McGraw, a physical therapist and specialist in ergonomics. “Too soft and you could be unstable while standing, and too hard and you won’t find relief.”
Borowiec recommends using a mat that has some humps and ledges to it and is not simply flat like a doormat. “It’s unnatural to stand still for long periods of time, so it’s useful to provide a little playground for your feet,” she says. “It is also important to choose a design that will not cause you to slip, so look for textured surfaces on top and foam backing on the bottom.”
(Here’s how to walk more steps per day.)
It’s important to choose an anti-fatigue mat that fits well with your standing desk. “A mat that is too big or too small will be awkward at best, so make sure you measure your space before you purchase your mat,” says Boroweic. “Also, be mindful that mats can be tripping hazards, so choose a size that won’t easily cause you to accidentally step off.”
Best anti-fatigue mats for your standing desk
Here are some of the best anti-fatigue mats that experts recommend if you plan on using a standing desk. (Also, here’s the best home office equipment to buy.)
Kangaroo Original Standing Mat Kitchen Rug
If you’re looking for extra support, this mat from Kangaroo is three-quarter inches full of foam. So you can stand for prolonged periods of time and feel comfortable, with the right amount of firmness. These mats are extra durable and made to withstand long periods of use. Even the bottom is lined with an extra thick material that stands the test of time. Another perk: It comes in 18 colors and prints.
Sky Solutions Anti-Fatigue Mat
This 4.7-star-rated anti-fatigue mat from Sky Solutions has over 19,000 reviews on Amazon. And it’s still a budget-friendly option that offers all-day support for your feet. The mat has a nonslip soft foam bottom and an anti-curl edge that helps to prevent tripping. According to the manufacturer, the soft foam core can reduce stress on the knees, muscles, and joints by 32 percent. Plus, it comes in three sizes and eight colors.
Bonus: It can be used both in the office and the kitchen.
(Feeling really fatigue? Try these herbal remedies for fatigue.)
NewLife by GelPro Comfort Kitchen Floor Mat
If you’re looking for a gel anti-fatigue mat for your standing desk, this is it. The mat from GelPro has a three-quarters-inch thick foam core to help prevent feet, legs, and back pain. It also has sloping edges to prevent you or someone passing by from tripping, a polyurethane foam top, and a slip-resistant bottom.
The mat comes in four sizes and a wide variety of colors and patterns. A plus: It works as well in the kitchen as it does your office.
Fezibo Standing Desk Mat with Anti-Fatigue Bar
This ergonomically-engineered anti-fatigue mat from Fezibo is designed more like a balance board—encouraging even more movement than a standard anti-fatigue mat. It remains steady with an 8.5-degree tilting angle that keeps your legs and core engaged. And it features intentional grooves that create pressure points on your feet if you choose to stand without shoes.
(Here are home remedies for swollen feet.)
Applied Ergonomics Workrite Anti-Fatigue Mat
This Applied Ergonomics mat might be simple in design, but it’s anything but when it comes to comfort. For starters, it’s made of 100 percent polyurethane foam, which lightly molds to your feet when you apply pressure. It’s also very lightweight and has an indented area that’s easy to grab with your heel so you can move the mat without bending over.
Active Anti-Fatigue Mat E7 by UPLIFT Desk
The contoured design of this UPLIFT Desk anti-fatigue mat prompts a variety of positions for your feet and legs. This can provide these joints much needed relief. It allows you to switch postures easily and it has a smaller design that’s ideal for compact workstations. Plus, massage mounds on the outer edges can be useful for target stretching during or after your workday.
(Here are the surprising ways bad posture affects your health.)
Wurf Board by JumpSport
This anti-fatigue mat from JumpSport—which kind of looks like a surfboard—is excellent for all-day standing. It’s formulated to help reduce the load on your back, which helps ease the pressure on your joints. Thanks to its adjustable air-springs, it’s soft and bouncy, not to mention lightweight so that you can move it around easily. It also has professional-grade durability and the company offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Sit Stand Smart Mat
The Smart Mat is one of two anti-fatigue mats on this list for those looking to splurge. It helps prevent the experience of your chair rolling on top of your mat. It is foot-activated, which allows the mat to move easily back and forth under your desk. It’s also super comfortable—like carpeting beneath your feet.
(Offer your feet comfort and support with these podiatrist-recommended slippers.)
Topo Comfort Mat by Ergodriven
The cushioned terrain of this mat from Ergodriven provides unique support for your feet, legs, and core. “This mat has different levels on it, which are especially great for people who tend to fidget often and like to change up the way they stand,” says McGraw. The only downside, she notes, is that this mat is on the heavier side, so it can be quite difficult to move around. This shouldn’t be an issue, however, if you intend to keep it in one place.
- Annals of Internal Medicine: "Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults"
- Diabetologia: "Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis"
- BMJ: "Standing-based office work shows encouraging signs of attenuating post-prandial glycaemic excursion"
- BMJ: "Breaking up workplace sitting time with intermittent standing bouts improves fatigue and musculoskeletal discomfort in overweight/obese office workers"
- Preventing Chronic Disease: "Reducing occupational sitting time and improving worker health: the Take-a-Stand Project, 2011"
- Jason Kart, PT, DPT, CMPT, CMTPT, physical therapist and owner of Core Physical Therapy The Loop, Chicago
- Kelly Borowiec, ACE-certified personal trainer and founder of Keebs Fitness
- Lindsay McGraw, PT, DPT, doctor of physical therapy and ergonomic specialist