What are Anti-Fatigue Mats?

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Anti-Fatigue Mats

anti-fatigue mats

Anti-fatigue mats are an important part of the health and fitness contributions of ergonomic flooring options. Ergonomic flooring is a vital health asset to everyday working and living conditions in the modern age. When productivity and time management issues require people to spend more time on their feet, it’s easy to see that anti-fatigue mats are an important example of ergonomic applications. These mats minimize tiredness in people who must stand for extended periods of time on cement or other hard floors. Hard floors are very uncomfortable to walk on. This can have implications to a person’s entire body and personal health.

Enhancing Safety and Productivity

Addressing this problem can also improve safety and reduce injury from slipping, tripping and falling from tired, worn out legs. It can markedly improve an employee’s performance in the workplace simply by encouraging greater body comfort. It can have an impact on employee absences and overall productivity. Today’s mild foot problem might presage tomorrow’s major leg, back or neck issue. As energy levels improve in people, so does the quality and volume of what they can carry out.

Other fatigue contributing or assisting factors should also be considered, including regular shoe wear, stockings, standing posture, optional seating, footrest, standing tools, break time frequency improvements, existing flooring quality and its elasticity components, and any other behavioral, situational or environmental elements. However, despite other alleviating conditions or improvements, fatigue caused by both unconscious and outright discomfort from the stress of standing in uncomfortable conditions may still prove to be a problem.

The Role of Anti-Fatigue Mats in Ergonomic Design

The use of such mats does not itself eliminate sore foot conditions, as ergonomics, stance, and footwear must also be considered, but the use of these mats can be an important part of addressing foot discomfort concerns that already exist. Anti-fatigue mats cushion each step taken while walking. This footstep buffering reduces the normally resulting foot problems. These specialty mats are manufactured from many different materials including vinyl, carpeting, and rubber. There are also wood-based mats. They are available in different colors and designs.

Anti-fatigue mats are recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA. Its list of guidelines, the Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders, has recently added an advisory that encourages their use by anyone standing for prolonged time periods. OSHA recognizes that these mats promote improved circulation and minimize fatigue in the legs and feet. The mats are also recognized as potentially reducing the risk of tripping and falling.

There are mats that specifically address slipping, but they are considered to be less effective with other problems. Mats that specifically discourage fatigue are shown to have considerable advantages over other recommended non-slip mat products. Anti-slip mats, an alternative safety floor covering, improve foot comfort and movement safety, but they also have a two-fold effect in contributing to skin surface soreness.

Popular Environments for Anti-Fatigue Mats

  • Industrial Workplaces: In factories, assembly lines, and other industrial settings, workers often stand for long hours at stationary positions.
  • Retail Stores: Employees in retail, particularly those at cash registers or service counters, stand for most of their shifts.
  • Offices with Standing Desks: As standing desks become more popular in office environments, anti-fatigue mats are essential to provide comfort and reduce the physical strain associated with standing for prolonged periods while working on computers.
  • Commercial Kitchens: Chefs, cooks, and kitchen staff typically stand for their entire shift, often on hard surfaces that can be harsh on the feet and joints.
  • Home Workshops or Garages: Individuals who engage in hobbies or tasks that require standing, such as woodworking or car repairs, can benefit from anti-fatigue mats to make their activities more comfortable and to extend the duration they can work without discomfort.

It’s the opinion of many experts that anti-slip mats can induce a burning sensation on the feet of people standing on their surfaces for long periods. The anti-slip nature of the product addresses the slipping problem but causes another by creating slippage inside shoes. This resistance and adhesive friction can make for sore foot soles. This may also promote blisters and other painful skin-based foot conditions.

The important thing is to take a step. Improving the lives and conditions of those who walk across a given floor space is essential. These mats do just that.