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The health benefits of using standings desks and standing desk mats – can you really afford to stay seated?

The Australian Department of Health’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines says Australians need to limit their sedentary behaviour to improve their health and well-being. The guidelines state that even if you do more than the recommended amount of physical activity every week, you will still benefit from minimising time spent sitting each day, and from regularly interrupting periods of sitting.

“Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.  56% of Australian adults are either inactive or have low levels of physical activity – that is more than 9.5 million adults!1

 

Avoid a sore back from too much sitting

The act of sitting itself isn’t worse than any other type of daytime physical inactivity, but for most of us, when we’re awake and not moving, we’re sitting; especially in the work place.

Sitting causes the electrical activity in the muscles drops which the leads to a plethora of harmful metabolic effects. Your calorie-burning rate drops immediately to about one per minute. That’s a third of what it would be if you got up and walked. Insulin effectiveness drops within a single day, and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes rises. So does the risk of becoming obese. The enzymes responsible for breaking down lipids and triglycerides plunge, which in turn causes the levels of good cholesterol to fall*.

 

 

None of that is good news but how can we fix it?

The solution, they say, isn’t to sit for six hours at work and then head to the gym afterwards, because the negative effects of extended sitting can’t be countered by brief bouts of strenuous exercise. The answer is including pacing, standing and any other form of activity into your normal work day and standing at your desk for part of it is the easiest way of doing so. Here’s a list of some of the benefits scientists have found so far.

  1. Reduced Risk of Obesity
  2. Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Other Metabolic Problems
  3. Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
  4. Reduced Risk of Cancer
  5. Lower Long-Term Mortality Risk

Dying from sitting? Really?

It’s not the sitting that kills us but rather the benefits of not sitting which reduces the chance of diabetes, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

A 2010 Australian study found that for each extra hour participants spent sitting daily, their overall risk of dying during the study period (seven years) increased by 11%. A 2012 study found that if the average American reduced his or her sitting time to three hours per day, life expectancy would climb by two years.

 

Standing Desk Mats

Time to stand up!

So now that you’ve decided to sit less, experts recommend splitting your time between standing and sitting because standing all day can lead to back, knee or foot problems – easier said than done in some job roles so we will cover that in another blog post. The easiest ways of accomplishing this is by using a desk that can be raised upwards to stand at. Alternatively you might like to use a tall chair that you can pull up to your standing desk when you do need to sit. You could also have a communal standing desk in a shared workplace that is used by many at different times of the day.

Don’t go from all sitting to all standing in one go. It’s important to ease into it by standing for just a few hours a day at first while your body becomes used to the strain. While standing, move around a bit, by shifting your weight, changing your stance, rocking or pacing.

You also don’t want to be standing on a hard floor. Prolonged standing on hard surfaces causes physical fatigue including pain in your feet, legs, back, neck and shoulders. It can also lead to long-term circulatory problems including varicose veins. That’s where the benefits of a standing desk mat come in.

Standing Desk Mats

These mats whilst stable and supportive, also offer comfort to your legs and the rest of your body. Be aware of what environment your mat will be used in and choose a mat that is best suited accordingly. For example, mats with rounded corners and bevelled edges can prevent people tripping.  If you are using mats in a kitchen or other food preparation area, make sure you choose mats that are oil and fat resistant. Also keep in mind the footwear of the people using the mats. For example if it will be someone wearing heels standing on the mat, make sure it’s durable enough to withstand those killer high heels! If it’s going to be used in a wet area, be sure to choose a mat that has been designed to enhance drainage and cleanliness.

At Mat World, we’re so passionate about the benefits of standing mats that we’ve been writing about them (and supplying them) for years. You can find our other tips about standing mats and anti-fatigue mats here.

Browse our Mats and find the best mat to suit your needs here.

 

SOURCES:

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2013.

* Research by the Mayo Clinic

 

Best Standing Desk Mats (For You)

When searching the internet to find the best standing desk mats, most of what’s on offer is quite bland, tiny and may not be cost effective for the size – or worse may lead standing desk users to abandon standing desks. Let’s face the reality that there isn’t a one-type-fits-all when it comes to selecting the best standing desk mat that is available. In Australia, we’re a little ahead of the rest. As the largest supplier of such matting products in Australia, Mat World has a few tips to help customers understand the standing desk mats.

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Commercial kitchens, bars – floor matting and safety

There are several things to look at when considering the safety of your kitchen staff or bar tenders. Firstly the work area is nearly always subject to getting wet. Moisture is not the only factor. Oils, foods, drinks, and even ice can make it to the floor and cause risk of slips. Not all mats are the same, and the composition of some mats will begin to break down when certain things like oil are applied to their surface. When a mat begins to break down, or is not well maintained, it will eventually fail to lower the risk of slips and trips. Anti-slip surfacing alone may not always solve all the issues. Imagine food grease, oils or ice on the floor as an example. As for maintenance, it has to be easy to maintain and clean. Nitrile mats are resistant to oily and fatty environments. They are also soft on the feet. We have talked about the composition of nitrile mats and how a lower composition of nitrile in a nitrile mat doesn’t really put it in the same category. To truly make a difference, we recommend customers looking to install mats in commercial kitchens and bars, use high quality and 99-100% nitrile matting.

Soft n Safe Nitrile Mat Quality Detail

Exceptional quality of our nitrile mat for commercial kitchens and bars

One of the most popular products that Mat World offers to commercial kitchens and bars is the Soft n Safe mat. As a nitrile mat, it is moulded in a high quality way and so that the detailed rough surface and astute edges in the moulded pattern prevent slips. They also come in two options; with drainer holes or in a solid pattern design – depending on your needs. Their surface is detailed and it is recognisable for its quality.  The mats are soft with anti-fatigue properties also. They are also a low profile with ramped edging. This means that the mat itself is minimally hazardous to trips as it both, hugs the floor and the edges are unlikely to stick up. This mat also works better most non-slip surfacing. The gaps between the tread pattern is wide enough to accommodate holding solids and this makes cleaning easier as it would minimise build up over prolonged use. In short it makes for a good mat for commercial kitchens and bars, that’s why it’s popular in our range. Remember it’s always wise to consider your needs as not all environments are the same. Feel free to discuss your requirements with us today and contact us.

Best standing desk mats

We offer a wide range of standing desk mats that are suitable for your standing desk, and for the best anti-fatigue mat you may want to look at several considerations;

  1. How hard is the floor underneath?
    If it is unsurfaced concrete or hard tiles, then you may consider a thicker or softer anti fatigue mat. If it is a carpeted area you may consider something a little thinner or firmer. Thickness and firmness may also be a personal preference also.
  2. Is it large enough?
    Most standing desk mats on the market are quite small in length and width. You may want to consider how you would be moving around near your desks. If you find that you’re most comfortable moving around in a larger area surrounding your desk — then by all means ask us about our custom sized anti fatigue matting.
  3. Do you also need to place a chair, stool or rolling wheels over it?
    If you find that you do need to do this, it’s best to contact us so that we can help you with your selection of the best standing desk mat for the job.

We also have more information on getting help to choose the best standing desk mat based on your requirements.

Click Here For Standing Desk Mats >>

Remember Anti Fatigue Mats with your Standing Desk

Comfort with Anti Fatigue Mats (sometimes called a Standing Desk Mat)

Be comfortable with an Anti Fatigue Mat at your Standing Desk

We love the concept of standing desks. Staying seated, in recent times, has been compared to other bad health habits. No doubt there will be an increase in the standing desks trend in the coming years; however there are some important things to remember:

  1. Consult a health professional; get some advice from your relevant health professional: Doctor, Chiropractor, Podiatrist etc…
  2. Know your physical limits; standing is great – we all love to do more of it. We may need to. As with everything in life, moderation is key. We need to keep track of how much we do of it. Strike the perfect balance.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes; make sure that your shoes are correctly chosen for your body and feet. You should have comfortable shoes.
  4. Anti Fatigue Matting; yes, you knew this was going to be mentioned. These are sometimes called a Standing Desk Mat. It is an important factor though. That’s why many work safe professionals consider anti fatigue mats as part of their preventative strategies.

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Custom Mats

Most of our floor mats and matting can be custom made to specific requirements. We welcome enquiries about custom floor mats and matting.

The truth is, there’s a lot that we can do, and we believe we are best placed in the market to provide custom floor mats. We have real locations in nearly every state, and specialised facilities to fulfil your custom orders.

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