The various stresses that employees suffer from every day at work are among the main causes of sickness and absences. Although the settings and type of work may differ from one to another, there has been significant research conducted that proves there is a link between people working in a continuously static position and those who are more likely to suffer from physical fatigue.

It is common to suffer from fatigue, aches and pains and general discomfort from standing while you work for prolonged periods.

Fatigue reduces concentration and therefore productivity. Anti-fatigue mats are the ideal therapy here. Also known as anti stress mats.

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The anti-fatigue mat was designed effective and affordable solution to work-related fatigue caused by standing on cold or hard surfaces for extended periods, as well as its effects on workforce morale and productivity. By investing in anti-fatigue mats for your business, you could not only make the workplace a more comfortable environment but directly impact your employee’s motivation and performance.

Anti-Fatigue Mats – What Are They?

If you work or have ever worked in a standing position for extended periods, you may be familiar with the pelvic, foot, leg or even back pain that often goes with it. In response to the aches, pains and general discomfort, anti-fatigue mats were developed and introduced with remarkable success. There has even been evidence published that as well as reducing these effects, they also had a positive impact on the motivation, morale, and productivity of employees.

Anti-fatigue mats are special ergonomic mats that help to protect the workforce from WRMSDs or Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, by allowing employees’ leg and foot muscles to make subtle movements to encourage blood to continue to flow freely. They are made from various high-quality materials and have been designed to work well in most commercial and business environments. Just some of the places anti-fatigue mats can be used are hair salons, hotels, shops, offices (especially in conjunction with standing desks), welding bays, kitchens, factories, warehouses, and machine shops.

Anti-Fatigue Mats – How Do They Actually Work and What Are the Principles Behind Them?

As we have discussed, when you work in a standing position for extended periods it can be uncomfortable and tiring and lead to the waist, back and leg pains. Eventually, if the symptoms and conditions persist, employees can suffer from severe WRMSDs. This happens because the muscles in the leg can become constricted and static which then reduces the free flow of blow.

As a result of those symptoms and conditions, the heart is then forced to pump greater volumes of blood to compensate and help circulation, which is why you feel fatigued in that situation. As anti-fatigue mats are designed to make muscular movement easier, they help to ensure blood flows through the leg and calf muscles, reducing the amount of pressure placed on the heart. There has been significant research conducted that shows employees that stand on anti-fatigue mats will more motivated and have greater productivity than employees working while standing on cold and hard surfaces.

Let us look at this in greater detail. The combination of using anti-fatigue mats and those micro-movements they encourage in the legs and other lower limbs, enable the venous valve found in the calves to pump blood that has been deoxygenated into the heart. Once there, this blood is then redistributed through the body increasing the individual’s energy levels and productivity while reducing the fatigue they may experience. It helps to avoid pools of blood collecting in the lower limbs because the body and in turn the venous pump are static.

In research conducted by Mark Redfern, a noted Ergonomist at the University of Michigan back in 19888 involving employees at the Ford Chesterfield Trim Plant, evidence showed that those who used anti-fatigue mats experienced a 50% increase in productive and reduced fatigue than those that did not.

Health Conditions Thought to be Linked to Working in a Standing Position
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Bunions and corns on your feet
  • Orthopaedic and rheumatoid conditions like reduced muscle elasticity among others
  • Swollen ankles and feet – caused by blood pooling in lower limbs because of gravity
  • Poor posture and body mechanics
  • Varicose veins and similar circulatory system disorders
  • Flat feet, or excessive over-pronation of feet
  • Increased tiredness and fatigue can cause reduced productivity and concentration levels
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Joint pains, particularly in the back, hips, knees, and ankles
Advantages of Anti-Fatigue Mats

We cannot overstate the clear advantages of using anti-fatigue mats. As well as helping to create a more comfortable working environment and reduce work-related injuries, they also can increase the overall performance and productivity of employees. Some of the most important benefits that come from using anti-fatigue mats are outlined below:

  • Increased comfort and safety for employees
  • Promote better body dynamics and positive mental strength
  • Decreased accidents and medical issues which in turn means decreased absenteeism
  • 50% decrease in fatigue among workers which means their performance and productivity is increased significantly
  • WRMSDs decreased
  • Better circulation
  • As anti-fatigue mats are also designed to provide a soft, but safe, non-slip surface to work on, they reduce the chances of slips and trips occurring.

Anti-fatigue mats can be of benefit to any employees who stand for extended periods of the working day. This was shown in evidence collected by scientific research that Loughborough University conducted. The tests were conducted under strict laboratory conditions using subjective and objective measures. The study involved 14 participants and compared the effects of standing on concrete, with the effects of standing on anti-fatigue mats. The results of the subjective testing proved that there were significant advantages to using anti-fatigue mats. In addition to lowered fatigue, there were also postural and thermal benefits.

Although anti-fatigue mats are most used in workplaces like factories, it has been established that they can be of benefit to workers in other sectors and industries too. This includes warehouses, hotel receptions, chemists, pharmacies, hotels, banks, restaurants, shops, and commercial kitchens.

With improvements made to their design and aesthetics, modern anti-fatigue mats do not have that cold and unappealing industrial look that they once had in the past and at Specialist Mats, we have a wide range of assorted colours and styles of anti-fatigue mats to choose from.

These can be supplied as individual mats, cut to specific custom lengths or full rolls and are suitable for use in the workplace and at home. If you have any questions or need advice about anti-fatigue mats before investing in them, please contact our customer service team today.

Anti-Fatigue Mats – FAQ

What Exactly Are Anti-Fatigue Mats?

Anti-fatigue floor mats often referred to simply as anti-fatigue mats are floor coverings used to reduce stress on the musculoskeletal system and reduce fatigue while increasing comfort for anyone working in a standing position for extended periods.

How Do They Work?

Anti-fatigue matting has been specially designed to provide a soft and insulated floor surface that is more comfortable to stand on for extended periods. Thanks to their softer surface, the feet of those using them are encouraged to make important micro-movements that help to ensure blood circulates around the body. This means the heart does not need to work quite as hard and improves the volume of oxygen being passed through there which means reduced fatigue.

In normal circumstances, when people are standing on hard and cold surfaces for lengthy periods, their legs seize up and become very static. This slows the flow of blood around the body significantly, which can lead to discomfort and pain.

Do They Really Help?

There have been many studies conducted by highly respected and acclaimed academic institutions and bodies that offer convincing evidence to show anti-fatigue mats do really help combatting fatigue and other effects caused by standing on hard surfaces while working.

How Do They Help?

As previously noted, anti-fatigue mats are made from soft material that provides a cushioned layer to any solid surface that employees need to stand on while working. The softer surface encourages the feet to make micro-movements that encourage blood flow. In addition to the reduced stress and fatigue, anti-fatigue mats also offer a warmer surface to stand and work on than cold and hard floors.

What Anti-Fatigue Mat Is Best for Me?

The best anti-fatigue mat for you will depend on the kind of environment you work in. If you need any assistance choosing the best anti-fatigue mats, please do not hesitate to contact us.

I work in a standing position all day, will investing in an anti-fatigue mat help me?

Yes, we believe it will help reduce stress and fatigue and improve your circulation and overall comfort.