Anti-Fatigue matting

A small article on the benefits of anti-fatugue matting and how it can help in the workplace.

Product information on the anti-fatigue matting can be found here.

According to ergonomic consultant and author Mr Dan McLeod, a good rule of thumb is that one minute of time per day is worth roughly £60 per year. Thus, five minutes of lost time per day due to fatigue is worth £300 per year. When multiplied across the workforce of an organization, it doesn’t take a calculator to see the economic justiication to support an investment in matting.

How  an  anti-fatigue  mat  works  is  best  described  in  an  article  in  ‘Occupational Health & Safety’, written by James M Kendrick; “Anti-fatigue mats are engineered to  make  the  body  naturally  and  imperceptibly  sway,  which  encourages  subtle movement by calf and leg muscles. this promotes blood low and keeps the blood from stagnating in the veins, which causes workers to feel fatigued”.

Studies  carried  out  at  the  Centre  for  Ergonomics,  University  of  Michigan  and  the Department of Industrial Engineering, Kansas State University, make observations of  the  difference  between  standing  on  hard  floors  and  soft  floors.  Both  studies conclude that mats signiicantly affect fatigue and comfort in different body regions.
Standing on hard surfaces for long periods can lead to several problems. First, standing causes muscles to constrict, which reduces the blood low. This makes muscles and joints hurt, and it causes the blood to stagnate.  In addition, long term standing causes pronation, or excessive lattening of the foot. While this can be simply tiring and a bit painful, it can also lead to serious foot conditions. Lower back pain is highest in workers who stand for 4 hours or more per day.

As described by Mr Kendrick, the cushioning effect of anti-fatigue matting allows continuous micro-movements of the feet, which minimizes blood pooling in the legs.  This may also go hand-in-hand  with  the  desire  to  reduce  slips  and  falls.
The floor mat may also provide relief from cold/damp conditions. There is good reason to believe that reduction of fatigue also reduces the possibility of accidents and improves general workplace eficiency. there are fewer lost days to injuries, fewer medical claims, and compliance with new health and safety requirements.

Too much cushioning can have a negative effect. Too great an amount of softness or ‘give’ will actually cause excessive fatigue because it overworks the muscles.  Think of it like jogging on soft sand as an extreme example of this concept.
Although  the  outcome  of  studies  in  favour  of  using  mats  is  perfectly  clear,  the effectiveness remains subjected to the perception of workers. The physical size of  the  worker,  and  their  own  preferences  as  to  what  is  comfortable,  will  cause different mats to be selected.

A person weighing 90kg will need a different mat than someone who weighs only 60kg.
The Benefits of Anti-Fatigue Matting besides the softness/hardness, is the importantance of workers’ freedom of movement. While the antislip function is very important (1 out of every 6 workplace injuries is related to a slip or fall accident, translating into 35% of all days lost for time off for medical recovery), easy twist-turn movements are just as important.

Product information on the anti-fatigue matting can be found here.

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