The Ergohacks Verdict
The first time I tried a standing desk inspired by Gina Trapani it was a heavily modded Ikea Jerker. I faithfully followed her build apart from one thing – the mat. She purchased a standing mat through Amazon, but discarded it fairly quickly. I was a little cheaper and pulled out a foam sleeping roll that I’d picked up for a pound from the car boot. Needless to say it didn’t last long and although I later tried different shapes and styles of mats, it was never something I paid much attention to.
The nice people at Project Ergo, who supply standing desks and ergonomic chairs, highly recommended that I try out the GelPro Anti-Fatigue mat. I didn’t see the point but I was willing to give it a go and after a couple of weeks I discovered that I never want to go back. I’m used to my feet feeling tired and achy at the end of a day but GelPro cut that back considerably and left me feeling much better.
The mat is simplicity itself to use – put it in front of your standing desk and stand on it. It is 81 x 51cm foam mat with rounded corners and a slight slope bevelled edge to the central flat area that measures 72 x 41 cm. It feels very slightly squishy. The best way I can describe it is as very resistant memory foam – it gives a little but then molds and holds.
After several years of various standing desks and trying and rejecting multiple mats the GelPro AntiFatigue Mat is the first one that actually makes a difference – and a significant one – for me. Add to that decent eco-friendly credentials and it’s obvious durability and it becomes a very enticing proposition. It isn’t just for standing desk users either, but great for all tasks that require standing up for long periods – behind a counter, in the kitchen, at a workshop bench. The GelPro mat is an elegant solution to a common problem. It’s a great help for anyone who experiences back pain, leg pain or achy feet during a long day of standing. Recommended.
Buy it from Project Ergo
The GelPro mat seems like a very simple product but there are a few important points if you look closely. Firstly the base is covered with a cross hatching that makes it surprisingly grippy to the floor. I’ve a laminate floor and the mat stays where you put it – try pushing it around and it does not move at all.
Product Dimensions: 81 x 51 x 2.3 cm
Thickness: 23mm at centre
Materials: Polyurethane “BioFoam”
Manufactured: In the US
Warranty: 5 years
Certification: National Floor Safety Institute “Superior high traction bottom surface” and Cradle to Cradle.
Eco-credentials: Let’s Gel make the mat with what they call “Bio-Foam”. This is a patented Dutch material they licence that is very similar to Expanded polystyrene (EPS). The big difference is that EPS is made from fossil fuels – oil – where as Bio-Foam is made from plant extracts. While being durable it’s biodegradable and can be industrially composed.
A flat floor to put the mat on – hard wooden or tiled floors will work best.
Let’s Gel is a US company that makes the GelPro as well as a range of other standing mats. Surprisingly they didn’t start with standing desks but with a mat the founder created for his wife in the kitchen. They make mats for standing desks, commercial, medical and industrial settings as well as their core residential business. They’ve sold over a million mats since 2005 in the US and are probably the worlds largest specialist manufacturer.
Project Ergo is the UK supplier of GelPro mats and also handles shipping to Europe.
We based our Ergohacks Verdict on 16 months of tinkering, testing and using the GelPro Anti Fatigue Mat kindly provided by Ergo Project. It’s still in regular use. This article was first published on 19 May 2016 and last updated on 11 September 2017.