Anti-fatigue mats are becoming a must for businesses where employees are required to stand for extended periods of time. They are not a legal requirement but, due to The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992, all workstations need to be suitable for workers. Because of this anti-fatigue mats have become a recommended feature in the workplace.
The dangers of standing still for many hours
There are many lines of work that require employees to be on their feet for most of their day. Even though standing is considered healthy, standing on hard floors without moving much can have adverse health effects. It can lead to complications with your back, leg muscles and veins, posture and lead to joint pains and other health issues.
Buying anti-fatigue mats help reduce those symptoms by:
- Stimulating Blood Flow – when standing still for long hours the veins in our legs do not pump as much blood and that job falls mainly to the heart, making us feel more fatigued. With an anti-fatigue mat the stress on the body is elevated and more flexibility is given, creating a less tiring environment.
- Reducing Joint Stiffness – because the mats promote physical adjustments and movement, they stimulate the blood flow and alleviate any stiffness that may occur.
- Reducing Lower Back Pain – the mats alleviate the pressure on the spine and muscles thus reducing pains in the lower back.
- Reducing Foot Pressure – by softening the floor the mats make it more ergonomic, which helps alleviate pressure on the soles of the feet
- Improving Comfort and Productivity – the mats create a more comfortable place to This creates happier, healthier workers and it can boost the productivity of the business.
- Reducing Slips and Falls – this is a characteristic of most mats used in workplaces with a lot of footfall. Anti-fatigue mats are no different in this respect. They can make it a safer environment, providing a better grip and cushioning any falls that do occur.l.
The Right Anti-Fatigue Mat
When choosing the right anti fatigue mat for your business you should take into consideration a few factors.
What to look for in an anti-fatigue mat:
- Durability – always check the thickness and how strong the product is. If there are any cracks in the mat, spills and small particles can get in there and shorten the lifespan of your mat. If made from lower quality materials anti-fatigue mats have a lower life expectancy. It is best to talk to a specialist so you can discuss the different types of anti-fatigue mats and the hazard of your business so you can choose the best one for your needs.
- Surface grip – anti-fatigue mats should have a good surface grip to stop them from sliding on the floor. Too much grip, however, may be inconvenient when adjustments to the mat need to be made.
- Responsiveness and Firmness – when people step off the mat it should go back to its original form. If it takes it too long to come back to its form it means the mat is too elastic. This can cause fatigue as the user will need to make more effort to keep their stability. The same problem arises if the mat is too soft, and if it is too firm it loses its purpose as it would be the same as standing on the hard floor.
- Easy to Maintain and Clean – mats are made from different materials to suit different kinds of environments (professional kitchens, industrial lines, warehouses, etc.), so take this into consideration. Choose the one that will be easy to maintain and clean depending on your needs.