Studies carried out at the Centre for Ergonomics, University of Michigan and the Department of Industrial Engineering, Kansas State University into the use of anti fatigue mats, observes the difference between standing on hard floors compared with standing on soft floors.
Both scientific studies into the use of anti fatigue mats conclude that anti-fatigue mats significantly affect fatigue and comfort in different body regions.
Standing on hard surfaces without an anti fatigue mat for long periods of time can lead to several problems. Firstly, standing causes muscles to constrict, which reduces the blood flow. This can cause muscles and joints hurt, and cause blood to stagnate. In addition, long-term standing can lead to pronation, or excessive flattening of the foot. While this can be simply tiring and a bit painful, it can also lead to plantar fasciitis and other serious foot conditions. Lower back pain is highest in workers who stand for 4 hours or more per day.Using an anti-fatigue mat may help to prevent and ease these conditions.
An anti fatigue mat provides a cushioning effect allowing continuous micro-movements of the feet, which minimizes blood pooling in the legs. Using an anti-fatigue mats may also provide relief from cold or damp floors.
There is good reason to believe that the reduction of fatigue also helps to reduce the possibility of accidents and also helps to improve general work efficiency.
Studies carried out by Loughborough university produced the following conclusions about the use of anti fatigue mats:
- Anti fatigue matting helps to promote regular subtle movements of the feet, enough to reduce and in some cases prevent the health risks associated with prolonged standing by increasing the blood flow and assisting oxygen to reach the heart.
- The increased comfort achieved by installing anti fatigue matting helps to improve worker concentration therefore reducing the potential for accidents and also helps to improve productivity.
- Confirmation that the use of anti fatigue mats has a beneficial effect on postural comfort to those who stand for long periods compared to standing on concrete.
The use of an anti-fatigue mat can benefit employees in any situation where they are standing for long periods of time. Find out more about where to use an anti fatigue mat.