7 Facts About Anti-Fatigue Mats
You may have heard about some specialized floor coverings known as anti-fatigue mats. These floor mats are made for standing for long periods in industries that require it such as hospitality, medical, retail, security and industrial professions. Perhaps you're wondering, though, whether this moniker is only for marketing purposes or if these floor mats really work to combat the effects of fatigue.
Studies conducted by several respected institutions has shown that anti-fatigue mats can significantly improve subjective worker comfort. By promoting better blood flow and posture, they increase energy and productivity while reducing the strain that can cause sore feet, lower back pain and long-term chronic problems.
So how do anti-fatigue mats work, exactly? What are the effects of not having anti-fatigue mats? What is an anti-fatigue mat with holes, and why would you want one? If you’ve been wanting some more information on anti-fatigue matting, here are seven facts you should be aware of:
1. Standing for a long time can have significant physical effects. Nearly half of all workers around the work have to stand for more than 75 percent of their day. This can result in discomfort not only in the legs and feet but also stiffness in the shoulders and neck as well as aches in the back. These problems are exacerbated if the person is standing on an exceptionally hard surface such as concrete. Over a long period, this can develop into chronic pain that reduces productivity.
2. Prolonged standing on a hard surface can lead to other kinds of conditions. People who stand for hours at a time, day in and day out, on an unusually hard surface can develop problems of the circulatory system. For instance, varicose veins, which are enlarged and twisted veins near the skin surface, can develop in the legs of these individuals. Degenerative damage can develop in joint tendons and ligaments from their lack of mobility. Excessive standing day after day has even been linked to a higher risk of preterm births in women.
3. Anti-fatigue mats work by getting the person to move even when he or she is not moving. When standing on a flat surface, muscles become rigid and blood vessels constrict, which reduces blood flow throughout the body and causes fatigue. The material of the anti-fatigue mats cushioned surface forces a person’s feet to make constant micro-adjustments. This causes the muscles to contract and expand subtly and keeps the blood flowing freely through the arteries, thus avoiding fatigue.
4. Anti-fatigue mats are good for business. When workers are not fatigued from prolonged standing, they're more comfortable and have better concentration because they aren't distracted by discomfort. This tends to result in heightened productivity by the employee, which can help a business bottom line. Plus, the absence of fatigue reduces the risk of workplace accidents like slips and falls so the business owner won’t have to deal with expensive worker’s compensation claims.
5. Anti-fatigue mats are as good as ultra-comfortable shoes. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration in Canada suggests two options for businesses to combat fatigue from standing for extended periods: 1) anti-fatigue mats and 2) shoes with shock-absorbing insoles and thick, insulating soles. In other words, getting standing floor mats is like buying special shoes for all of your employees!
6. Laboratory tests have shown the efficacy of anti-fatigue mats. Do anti-fatigue mats work? Research points to "yes". A University of Michigan Centre for Ergonomics study revealed that standing on a 3/8-inch anti-fatigue mat can cut pain and discomfort in the legs, back and feet by up to 50 percent. A similar study conducted at Loughborough University's Ergonomics Department in the United Kingdom showed substantial differences in thermal comfort and sensation as well as leg and back discomfort between test subjects who stood on concrete for 90 minutes and those who did the same on anti-fatigue mats.
7. Ultimate Mats anti-fatigue floor mats do more than just eliminate fatigue. Ortho 1 and Hog Heaven (5/8″ and 7/8″) floor mats are certified as slip-resistant by the National Floor Safety Institute. They also resist cracking and curling at the edges, and are not harmed by grease or oil-based products, so they can be used in kitchens and garages. These mats are also made of partially-recycled material. Anti-fatigue mats with holes also water and fluids to drain without pooling on top of the mat. This further reduces accident risks and makes the mats easier to clean. Fashion standing mats are also available if you want to maintain an upscale look.
For details about how an anti-fatigue mat can help your business, contact Ultimate Mats today! We guarantee your satisfaction 100% on every order.