Anti-fatigue mat like rubber anti fatigue mats are protective equipment made to reduce fatigue caused by a long time standing on a hard surface. They are instrumental in industrial environments where workers have to perform their tasks standing on concrete floors.
When a person stands for an extended period, they continuously contract their muscles, disrupting blood circulation, fatigue, and problems with the back, legs, and feet. Lower back pain is common among employees who spend many hours on their feet every day. These mats can be made of several materials and benefit from several types of protection corresponding to the environment in which they are placed (fire protection, food environments, humid environments, etc.).
Anti-fatigue mats prevent musculoskeletal disorders that can affect employees’ feet and lower limbs who remain upright for prolonged and frequent periods. They improve productivity within the company and reduce costs related to illnesses and pain suffered by workers.
What Are The Advantages Of An Anti-Fatigue Mat?
The anti-fatigue mat creates a slight instability which allows the user’s body to oscillate by straining the muscles of his legs. The operator thus unconsciously moves his feet, even in a static position, which allows him to relieve his joints and restart his blood circulation.
The installation of a safety mat has several benefits:
- A reduction of the contact with the ground, which makes it more comfortable to work.
- A better flow of blood and oxygen to the heart
- A more balanced posture between the two feet
- Decreased fatigue and chronic pain
- A barrier against the cold
- Soil protection by absorbing shocks
- Anti-fatigue mat installed in an industrial environment
- The anti-fatigue mats reduce the pain suffered by operators while standing.
What Approach Should Be Adopted For Workers Who Maintain A Standing Position?
However, the use of an industrial or anti-fatigue mat does not resolve all the harmful effects on the health of a standing position. As with all worker protection equipment, recourse to this type of equipment should only occur after considering the tasks to avoid the dangers, particularly through the design of the work, the distribution of tasks, and the organization of the workspace. Employees must choose their working position and change it frequently: it is particularly advisable to offer them ergonomic furniture, such as a seat or a footrest.
In particular, the floor covering used has an important role. Hard floors, without absorption, like cement, are the least comfortable. Other materials are more flexible and less painful for the feet: wood, cork, carpet, or rubber. In humid or frequently wet conditions, relatively soft floors are also recommended because they are less slippery. The shoes are also essential equipment for the prevention of MSDs related to standing. They must support the arch of the foot and the heel, provide sufficient cushioning, and remain comfortable and suitable for the task performed by the user.