Are you a cashier, receptionist, professor, chef, security guard, warehouse supervisor, or anyone whose job requires them to stand throughout the day? While there’s no fun sitting in front of a computer screen for eight straight hours, standing for such long hours isn’t any exciting either. In fact, most people who have to stand for long hours often complain about pain in their knees, legs, lower back, and neck.
We’re living in a technology-influenced era where there’s a solution for almost anything. Just like there are ergonomic workstations and chairs that make workplaces more comfortable, there are also anti-fatigue mats that can make jobs for those who’ve got to stand all day long a lot easier and much less painful.
The hype around anti-fatigue mats has grabbed some serious attention. The question is: do these mats work? Are they worth all the hype and attention that they’re currently getting?
Continue reading this blog post to know all there is to know about anti-fatigue mats and whether or not they actually work!
What Are Anti-Fatigue Mats?
Anti-fatigue mats are special mats made of carpeting materials, wood, vinyl, or rubber. These mats claim to reduce fatigue in the lower body. Standing for long hours can put extensive stress on the lower body, and anti-fatigue mats are designed to alleviate this stress.
You may wonder how a mat can reduce fatigue and make standing less painful. Well, there’s a lot of science involved here. To keep it simple, anti-fatigue mats encourage the movements of muscles in the lower body that ensure that the blood flow to the extremities stays consistent. When the blood flow to the lower extremities isn’t disturbed, you won’t feel the pain in your lower body that you otherwise do.
How Do Anti-Fatigue Mats Work?
Anti-fatigue mats aren’t like regular mats. These are specialized mats made using extremely flexible and soft materials like memory foam or rubber. The reason these mats are made to be flexible is to allow the muscles in the legs to contract slightly to help you maintain your balance. The subtle contraction of the muscles ensures that the blood flow throughout your body is maintained. The muscles receive sufficient oxygen. When the required amount of oxygen reaches your lower body muscles, the chances of them getting fatigued are drastically reduced. If you don’t know this, an insufficient supply of oxygen is one of the primary reasons muscles get fatigued.
To help you understand how these mats work, let’s first look at why you feel pain in your extremities if you keep standing for too long. When you’re standing on a hard, flat surface, there’s no need for the muscles in your legs to move to maintain your upright posture. When there’s no movement in the muscles, the blood pools in the extremities and makes it very hard for the body to transport oxygen to the muscles that would keep them alert and awake, and as a result, these muscles fall asleep. And that’s when you feel the pain!
Anti-fatigue mats prevent your muscles from falling asleep. Since they aren’t hard as the hard floors, your muscles stay awake and active to maintain balance. They’re flexible and designed to absorb any vibrations, which makes these mats so comfortable to stand on. Anti-fatigue mats are also anti-slip. They reduce the chances of slip accidents.
Why Invest in Anti-Fatigue Mats?
Anti-fatigue mats offer a plethora of benefits which makes them worth the investment. Let’s have a look at some of the most prominent benefits:
Reduce the Risk of Health Conditions
Standing for extended hours causes pain in the lower body and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. It also puts you at risk of several health conditions like lower limb disorder, postural muscle fatigue, and varicose veins, among many others. However, anti-fatigue mats reduce fatigue in the lower body and ensure a consistent blood flow. They reduce the risk of these health conditions significantly.
Reduce the Risk of Slip and Trip Accidents
Most workplace accidents and injuries are due to slipping and tripping. Not many workplaces have anti-slip mats installed in their offices. However, anti-fatigue mats are also anti-slip, reducing the chances of you slipping or tripping and hurting yourself.
Provide Comfort during Winter Months
Workers can feel discomfort due to cold floors in the winters. However, anti-fatigue mats can provide insulation that keeps the cold from the floors from causing discomfort to the workers. When workers are more comfortable, they’ll work with more concentration and improved efficiency.
Choosing the Right Anti-Fatigue Mat
You’ll be amazed to see the number of available options when you set out to find an anti-fatigue mat for yourself. Not all anti-fatigue mats are the same in terms of quality, efficiency, and of course, price. Choosing the best anti-fatigue mat for a standing desk can be an overwhelming experience. We’ve listed some important factors that you must consider when choosing an anti-fatigue mat.
Where Do You Plan to Use It
The first and most important factor that you must consider is where you plan to use the mat. Different mats for available for dry, wet, oily, and greasy surfaces. Choose a mat depending on what type of surface you’ve got to stand on all day long. For example, if you’re a chef, you’ll want to buy an anti-fatigue mat that’s suitable for greasy surfaces. Similarly, if you work at a workplace that deals in automobiles, an anti-fatigue mat that’s suitable for oily surfaces will do best.
Not all anti-fatigue mats are fire-resistant. If you work somewhere where there are flames or extremely high temperatures, you should buy a fire-resistant mat and won’t catch fire if exposed to flying sparks.
How Roughly Will the Mat Be Used
Some jobs require anti-fatigue mats that can withstand heavy foot traffic, while others can do with less durable mats. It would be best to evaluate how much wear and tear your mat will be exposed to. If you think the mat will be exposed to heavy foot traffic or extensive wear and tear, you’ll have to buy an anti-fatigue mat accordingly.
Anti-fatigue mats are available in various sizes. The best anti-fatigue mat for you will be the one that’s suitable for you. If you’ve got to stand in one place all day long, a small mat will do well. However, if you’ve got to move about often across a particular area, you should invest in a larger anti-fatigue mat so that you don’t have to stand on the flat floor at any point during the day.
The best anti-fatigue mats are the ones that offer the highest level of deterioration resistance. These mats can get damaged and affected by industrial chemicals, cleaning agents, and even extensive foot traffic. You should buy an anti-fatigue mat that has got no visible seams. Seams can serve as openings for chemicals to enter and speed up the deterioration, thereby reducing the lifespan. However, completely sealed mats will last you much longer, offering the highest value for money.
The surface grip is another important consideration that you shouldn’t overlook when buying an anti-fatigue mat. The surface grip shouldn’t be too much or too little. If it’s too much, it’ll adhere to the floor strongly, and adjusting it to suit your movement will be difficult. If it’s too less, there are chances of the mat slipping. Look for an anti-fatigue mat that has got just the right surface grip.
Inspect the edges of the anti-fatigue mat you’re planning to buy. Are the edges square or beveled? Square edges increase the chances of tripping. Mats with beveled edges are the best.
Anti-fatigue mats are meant to reduce the stress on your lower body and provide comfort so that standing doesn’t feel as painful as it does without it. Therefore, when choosing an anti-fatigue mat, make sure you choose the one with adequate cushioning. The mat should be soft enough to be comfortable but not too soft because if it’s too soft, you’ll find it more uncomfortable to stand on.
Anti-fatigue mats like the FlexiSpot Ergonomic Anti Fatigue Mat DM1 make standing jobs so much less tiring. With the right amount of cushioning, ample space for comfortable movement, and no-skid design, these mats are designed keeping in view the struggles of people who’ve got to stand for extended hours.
Anti-fatigue mats are more like saviors for people who’ve got to stand for eight to nine hours every day. If you’re on the verge of quitting your job because your body can’t take the standing anymore, you should consider investing in an anti-fatigue mat. Just make sure you choose the mat the suits you best, like the size, type of surface you’ll be using it on, the level of cushioning, etc. Once you get your hand on the right mat, you’ll be able to enjoy your job!