Nowadays, many workers are forced to stand on hard concrete floors for long periods of time. They suffer significant levels of fatigue and discomfort in the legs, back and throughout the body. Extended standing causes pain, but that's not all, it will often make you feel lethargic.
In most of the construction sites, workers usually wear personal protective equipment like safety hats, glasses and back belts to protect them from accidents that might arise while working. These tools help workers prevent repetitive stress injuries, awkward positions and excessive exposure to vibration. For construction workers, it is considered critical to find ways to alleviating the pain associated with work related to standing.
That is why ergonomic products are becoming more and more popular since they aim to reduce accidents and injuries in any work environment. It was just recently that working environment started to prioritize ergonomics and has been instilled to the minds of the people.
Benefits of Anti-Fatigue Mats
Standing for long periods on hard floor surfaces is quite uncomfortable and causes a lot of physical fatigue. Muscles from the legs become static and constricted as they work overtime. Anti-fatigue mats are essential wherever workers stand to help ease their legs, feet, and lower back fatigue and pain.
Anti-fatigue mats come in many different versions but have the same benefits, here are some of the benefits that standing on an anti-fatigue mat can offer.
Reduce Stress on the Human Body. Rather than standing on a hard, solid surface like tile or concrete, if a certain worker stands on thick floor mats, extra flexibility is added, much of the stress previously is relieved, resulting in a less exhausted working environment.
Promote Better Blood Circulation. Anti-fatigue mats reduce stress on a person's joints and muscles which makes the blood flow more evenly and regularly throughout the feet and legs, thus reducing the risk of loss in circulation.
Reduce Slips and Falls. This is the significant characteristics of most of the mats, anti-fatigue floor matting is no different. Users will be much safer working on mats, compared to working on tile entirely because of the extra grip that they have on the mats. If a fall should occur, thick mats can help break the fall and lessen the chance of injury.
Employees Are Comfortable. If workers are comfortable with what they do, they are also comfortable working for the company. It is best for the company to invest in an anti-fatigue mat as they can keep their employees happy.
Increased Productivity. When you are standing, your muscles contracts and constraints in the blood vessels. When you are using an anti-fatigue mat, it helps alleviate muscle pain. Users of anti-fatigue mats tend to forget the pain thus it helps improves concentration due to the comfort that it can provide in the body.
Prevents Joint Stiffness. It avoids stiffness as anti-fatigue mats allow you minor changes to your standing position.
Reduced Lower Back Pain. Anti-fatigue mats can also alleviate pressure on the spine and alleviate the strain on the muscles, thus reducing lower back pain.
Reduced Foot pressure. The cushion properties help reduce the pressure from two strong forces: from heel-to-ground contact and vertical weight on the body when in a standing position. Anti-fatigue mats prevent foot and leg pain by softening the floor surface and making it ergonomic.
What to Look for in Choosing the Right Anti-Fatigue Mat
When choosing the right anti-fatigue mat, think about what kind of environment you'll be using your mat in and do some research of the product. Some of the anti-fatigue mats may differ in cost, material, construction, feature and size. Ensure that you do your research correctly as some anti-fatigue mats can be back up with good reviews, however, be aware that your necessities may be different from other people. That is why it is important that you know your needs when you look for your perfect anti-fatigue mat.
High Level of Durability. Ask yourself as to how quick does the mat wears out and how often a mat needs to be replaced. In choosing anti-fatigue mats, it is best to look for durability. Look for any cracking from the product. Check for damage as some of the products has small spaces in between which allows the water to come in the anti-fatigue mat. When this happens, cleaning agents and other chemicals will also be absorbed by the mat. Anti-fatigue mats can be damaged faster if it is produced in a low-quality material.
Must Have Enough Surface Grip. It should have enough surface grip (surface grip refers to a finely ground, slip resistant polymer additive explicitly designed for use to enhance the slip resistance of film forming sealers.) so they won't easily slide along the surface of the floor. Too much grip should also be avoided as people tend to bend over to make minor adjustments to the position of the mat.
Best Partnered with a Sit-Stand Desk. A sit-stand desk must have the qualities of an excellent anti-fatigue mat. When using your sit-stand desk for an extended period, it must have the characteristics of stability and instability. An anti-fatigue mat needs to provide sufficient instability as this will be required for postural changes, but at the same time, it should not provide too much as this could increase fatigue and will become a safety hazard. Too much stability can also create pressure points causing discomfort and over-fatigue of specific muscles. Remember to try to find a good balance in your mat in which you feel more comfortable and safe.
Mats Should Adequately Respond. Mats responsiveness must be considered when it comes to choosing the right mat. It must return from its original form once you move from it. If the responsiveness is too slow, it's probably too elastic for the weight put upon it. It will cause additional fatigue to the user because they need to make additional effort to maintain their stability. A good responsive one should allow you to walk lightly across or stand on it.
Assess the Firmness of the Anti-Fatigue Mat. The firmness of the anti-fatigue mat has a significant impact on how to fight fatigue. A mat that is too soft can increase fatigue and wear out quickly. A mat that is too hard served no purpose from a user as it is similar to standing on the hard floor. This is an important aspect that we should watch out for as this will determine whether you can stand for a long time.
Check If Mat Resists Movement. The mat material can cause to move easily when it is being used by a worker, and it is best to have a clean floor because it can prevent the mat from sliding due to unnecessary specks of dirt from the floor. The critical thing to consider when it comes to choosing the right anti-fatigue is the material it is made of. There are times that the foam will wear and break down easily. This will create a slippery layer which is not noticeable at first but may be visible over time.
It Is Comfortable to Maintain & Clean. All mats are equally the same, but when it comes to the material, this makes a lot of difference. When mats are used in the kitchen, food could get trapped in the surface of the foam. This usually harbours a lot of bacteria when the mat is not cleaned properly. If the mat is not kept clean then it could lead to an unsanitary condition in a health care environment. Therefore, it is important that the mat you get is easy to clean so that it won’t be difficult to maintain each time it needs to be cleaned.
Finding the right and effective mat depends on the materials used in the mat. Durability also plays a significant role; however, understanding what makes one anti-fatigue more effective than the other is the key when you decide to purchase a new one.