Workers who spend the majority of their day on their feet tend to report leg and back pains. While countless studies show standing is better than sitting while at work, the reality is that the human body is not meant to stand on hard flat surfaces for extended periods. Anti-fatigue mats were introduced to reduce the pain and discomfort employees felt from standing and being on their feet. Today, food service, industrial, shop, retail workers, and many more can’t imagine going through a shift without anti-fatigue mats underfoot. But, how exactly do anti-fatigue mats work?
What Causes Pain and Fatigue from Prolonged Standing?
Staying still and standing seems like a stress-free thing to do. So why does it cause so many workers’ feet, legs, joints, and back problems? When standing still for a prolonged period, our leg muscles stay engaged in keeping us upright. Without any movement, our leg and back muscles feel tight, and blood flow is reduced. In order to compensate for the reduced blood flow, our heart has to work harder to deliver enough blood and oxygen to these constricted muscles and extremities. The body feels drained much quicker, resulting in those feelings of pain, soreness, and fatigue.
How Do Anti-Fatigue Mats Work?
Anti-fatigue mats use what’s called dynamic ergonomics to encourage our bodies to undergo small movements. The surface of anti-fatigue mats is soft, which means we need to move around to distribute our weight to stay upright. These subtle movements promote blood and oxygen flow, which eliminates a significant amount of fatigue. Of course, the ergonomic anti-fatigue mats are also great at absorbing some of the shocks in each step for workers who regularly walk around the same areas.
More Comfort, More Focus
When you help your employees feel more comfortable at work, they are less likely to be distracted and tired from feelings of physical strain and pain. Workers end up being more alert, more focused. For an employer, this means you’ll have more happy and productive employees!
Anti-Fatigue Mats Help Prevent Accidents
Because anti-fatigue mats help workers feel more engaged at work, they are less likely to make any errors or get into a preventable accident. For more physically demanding jobs, back and leg pain shouldn’t be an issue that could cause a workplace accident. Also, many anti-fatigue mats are designed with holes and grooves. For spill-prone areas, like the restaurant kitchen, it allows liquid to drain underneath the mat and offers a slip-resistant surface to work at until the mess is taken care of.
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