5 Ways This Standing Desk Accessory Can Help Your Posture
It’s common knowledge by now that the extensive sitting we do in our daily lives—in the car, at work, on the couch—is affecting our posture and health.
Too often we wait until a problem develops in our bodies before we actively seek out preventative measures.
But by then it’s too late!
By the time our bodies are able to convey that ache or pain, it has been well on its way to that state based on mindless habits like hunching the shoulders while typing or sitting in a lopsided position.
Instead of preventative measures, we are forced to look into options that can help heal that area of the body. In some cases, it can take even longer for the issue to subside than it took to develop. This can lead to frustration and stress, which only further aggravates the interconnected body-mind system.
So what if we didn’t wait until our bodies told us that something is wrong? What if we decided today to be preventative with our posture, even when we’re feeling good?
One solution to the “sitting disease” that’s gaining popularity is a standing desk. They range from extremely affordable like a cardboard desk topper to a high-end, custom-built set up. Whatever option you choose, standing for a long time can get tiring.
Enter: the anti-fatigue mat.
While I don’t currently have a fancy standing desk set up, I’ve experimented with placing a lap desk on top of my regular desk to elevate my computer and work standing. So when someone from the AnthroDesk team reached out about trying the company’s ErgoSlant Anti-Fatigue Mat, I decided it would be a great place to start.
There are a lot of standing mats out there to choose from based on price, comfort, and quality. What sets this mat apart from many others is the sloped surface. That feature alone led me to the top five reasons to give this mat a try:
1. It forces you to take breaks. The most obvious reason for this is because most of us can’t stand as long as we can sit. But it’s also because the sloped cushion encourages the body to make micro adjustments to stay balanced. This becomes a subtle workout while you work. I found myself walking across the room to get water, realizing I needed to use the bathroom, or deciding it was time for a snack. Whereas usually I can sit for multiple hours and forget to get up.
2. You can adjust the intensity of the slant. Thanks to the large surface area of the mat, you can step backward or forward to find the perfect amount of slant for your feet. I tried the mat barefoot, so I experimented with switching between a more intense slope and then almost no slope. But if you are wearing shoes, you may find a sweet spot and stay there. What’s great is that if you don’t always wear the same exact shoe, you can adjust according to the current heel height.
3. It can double as a yoga prop. This was the most exciting discovery for me. It is a mat, so I decided to try out a few yoga poses. First, I sat down in a cross-legged position. The slope gave my pelvis a forward tilt, which helped me to keep my spine upright and relieved tightness in my hips. This can be utilized in any sitting pose such as butterfly or seated forward fold. And if you have a hard time getting your heels down in malasana like I do, you can use the mat as a wedge underneath them. It even felt good to stand on the slant and forward fold. The possibilities really are endless!
4. It can massage the feet. The top edge of the mat rounds so that the slope doesn’t just end. It transitions back to floor level, so you can put your bare feet on the rounded edge and enjoy a nice massage, alternating between the arches and the toes. This was most effective for me after I’d been standing on the mat for a while.
5. It’s easy to store. While looking into other anti-fatigue mats, I noticed some of the designs were bulky. This one is thin so, in addition to storing it under your desk as a foot cushion, you can slip it behind your desk or into a closet against the wall and no one will be any the wiser that it’s there!
Do you use a standing desk or an anti-fatigue mat? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below!