If you are one of the growing numbers of people who are standing or walking their way through the work day at your standup or treadmill desk, there are a few things you have probably found out already and few others you should definitely know.
Yes, this is a great way to combine exercise with work and to get more blood flow to your brain. (And maybe come up with that next billion-dollar idea.) But remember, if you are standing rather than sitting, all of your weight is on those two feet that have a lot less cushioning than what you usually sit on.
Let’s consider your shoes, and the surface you are standing on. After all, that is what is easiest for you to change. The general recommendation of a podiatrist for someone standing for long periods of time would be a supportive shoe with a cushioned sole – and I’ll bet you knew that. We have some detailed recommendations for shoes on our website and in the office. If you have an unusual foot we provide very specific recommendations for you after examining your feet.
What about the surface you are standing on? While it would be ideal to stand on a suspended wood floor there are a great number of mats that can be placed on a cement, tile, or carpet floor that can make a world of difference.
One of my favorite anti-fatigue mats is called the Standers Choice. What makes this mat unique is the fact that the surface is irregular and so it forces you to make small motions in your legs rather than just standing perfectly still. These small motions stimulate blood flow and according to one study, made people working in standup position such as retail approximately 15% more productive throughout the day compared to standing on a smooth surface.
I typically do not endorse products and I certainly have no connection to this product other than the fact that I am a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and Standers Choice has an APMA Seal of Acceptance, but this mat may make a difference in your standing up at work experience.
To quote the Standers Choice website:
“The secret is a patented foam structure laminated to a tough Armstrong vinyl-wear layer, designed to create an uneven yet comfortable surface that will stimulate foot and leg muscles, improve circulation and increase blood flow to the heart. This has helped Standers Choice® Health Mats stand apart from other manufacturing floor mats, safety flooring, floor pads, foam pads and basic door mats to be awarded with the prestigious Seal of Acceptance by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).”