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
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.