I love the Varidesk sit-stand desk I reviewed a few months ago. (Read the review.) It went together in minutes, is exceptionally stable and moves from one position to the next with the push of a button. When I was looking into how best to accessorize the desk I came across the VariDesk ActiveMat Rocker. It is an unusual accessory and worth a serious look.
My sit-stand desk came with a mat that makes standing for long periods of time a bit easier on the joints. The ActiveMat Rocker takes that one step further.
It comes with a thick, 1/2” mat that is squared off on one side and curved on the other. The curve fits into a plastic and metal device that “hangs” a metal bar from one side of the plastic frame to the other. The company notes that the ActiveMat Rocker
Get more active at the office and put your fidgeting feet to work with the VARIDESK ActiveMat Rocker. It combines the comfort and support of our popular anti-fatigue mat with enhanced movement and activity for the feet, knees and legs. The rocker cradle foot rest lets you prop up your feet and move them back and forth, which can help to stimulate circulation and relieve stress. The rocker cradle can be used while sitting or standing (one foot at a time), and it locks into the anti-fatigue floor mat to keep it in place.
The included mat is 28 3/8” wide and 14” at its shortest and 21 1/8” at its deepest. As noted, the mat is 1/2” thick which makes it quite comfortable to stand on for an extended period.
The curved part of the mat fits into the rocker part of the ActiveMat Rocker. It is a large plastic frame with a curved bar suspended between the two sides which are a bit over 28” apart. The metal bar is free to swing which is, in fact, the idea. While standing at your desk you can rest a foot on the bar, so you are no longer standing flat-footed for an extended period. It is interesting to note that, long before this accessory arrived, I often found myself placing something under my desk, so I could rest one foot a bit higher than the other. The ActiveMat Rocker simply formalizes a way of standing that many of us were already doing.
But then there is the “Rocker” part of the ActiveMat Rocker. The metal bar is not only there as a place to rest one foot a bit above the other but is also free to swing forward and back. The idea here is that, as you stand at your desk with one foot resting on the bar, you can slowly rock it back and forth. This allows you to get some motion in your feet even as you are standing and then, after a period, switch feet and allow your other leg to also move back and forth.
In other words, to use the company’s words, it lets you…
“Rock your way to a better workday.”
“enhanced movement and activity for the feet, knees and legs”
“helps stimulate circulation and relieve stress.”
It is an interesting idea that does make a difference. And while it is not as good as, for example, getting a small treadmill under your sit-stand desk, it does get more circulation going that would be the case if you were simply standing there. Also, I have found myself using the rocker even while sitting at my desk since it lets you get some movement in your legs in either the sit or the stand position.
Features and Specifications:
- 28.38” wide by 35” deep
- Supports up to 220 lbs
- Industrial-grade plastic frame and durable, high-density core
- Supports feet, knees, hips and back
- Mat is 3/4” thick
- Beveled, no-curl edges and durable, high-density core
While I love my sit-stand desk, I’ll admit that I don’t use it as often as I should. And while I love the idea of this accessory, I will also admit that I don’t use it as much as I probably should. Still, during lengthy periods of time, while writing, I have found the ActiveMat Rocker a good way to get some movement in my legs.
If you have gone to the expense of getting a sit-stand desk, I think you just might find the ActiveMat Rocker to be a worthwhile accessory. As one review on the product page put it,
This is the most comfortable mat and the rocker bar helps to rotate positions throughout the day. I highly recommend this if you have to stand a lot.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the ActiveMat Rocker
What I Like: Solid; Mat is thick and comfortable; Rocker bar allows you to shift positions during long periods of working at your desk while standing
What Needs Improvement: Not a “must-have” accessory but worth the investment if you do a lot of work while standing