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The Ultimate Guide To Anti Fatigue Mats

01 December 2022

With the growing concept of ergonomics and the emergence of ergonomics-friendly workplaces, the popularity of standing desks is at an all-time high today. Most employers are seen replacing traditional work desks with sit-to-stand workstations to ensure their employees don't fall prey to the consequences of poor workplace ergonomics.

However, while the introduction of standing desks has changed the dynamics of the workplaces and the employees' morale, there's an important aspect that most employers overlook.

Standing for too long can be as detrimental to physical health as sitting in an incorrect posture for extended periods. Introducing standing desks for your office sure has its benefits but to offer your employees maximum comfort, you've got to provide them with anti-fatigue mats too. Anti-fatigue mats are important (or should we say necessary) for employees whose job requires them to stand the entire day, like cashiers or receptionists.

Now, what are anti-fatigue mats, and how can they make working while standing more comfortable? Here's everything you need to know.



What Are the Consequences of Standing for Too Long?

Standing for too long can harm you in more ways than you can ever imagine!

When you're working while standing, your muscles must stay "active" to ensure your body maintains its balance against gravity. When we say your muscles are active when you're standing, we actually mean that they're constantly contracting to maintain balance.

However, when you're standing for several hours at a stretch, it won't be long before your muscles become constricted, the blood flow to your lower extremities reduces, and your legs and joints start to pain.

If you don't give yourself a break and continue to expose the muscles of your legs to the same level of stress, your muscles will get fatigued, and you may even develop long-term health complications.



What Are Anti-Fatigue Mats?

If we compare working while sitting in an incorrect posture for extended durations and working while standing without any support, we would say they're both equally dangerous for you.

If your job requires you to sit in front of a computer all day long, switching to ergonomic workstations and ergonomic chairs can help you avoid the consequences. And if your job requires you to stand for too long, anti-fatigue mats can come to your rescue.

Anti-fatigue mats are specially designed floor mats that are equipped with ergonomic properties. They provide your body with the support it needs while standing, reduce fatigue, and ensure your comfort throughout the time you're standing.

When the blood flow to your legs is reduced due to standing for long hours, your heart has to work harder, which can tire you out sooner than later.

However, anti-fatigue mats change that. They improve blood circulation throughout the body. These mats create micro-movements in the muscles of your legs (constant contraction and relaxation) that ensure that the muscles don't go to sleep (a situation characterized by a tingling or needle-like sensation in the muscles).

The surface of these muscles is very soft and gentle to your feet, making working while standing a lot more comfortable. The soft surface not only offers comfort but also releases pressure on the back and knees, which further reduces the chances of your back and knees hurting from prolonged standing.

Anti-fatigue mats are soft to stand on, and this also creates some instability. But that's actually good. With instability, your muscles have to stay active continuously to maintain balance and keep you standing upright. When the muscles of your legs are activated, the pressure is distributed to both legs equally, and your body weight isn't on any one leg. This helps you achieve the correct posture and ensure that there's no stress on your back or joints.

Who knew such regular-looking mats could have so much science behind them?



Do Anti-Fatigue Mats Really Work?

As a knowledgeable consumer, you would still wonder if these mats actually work. No matter how good something appears on paper, there's always a chance that it won't work as well in actuality.

A study conducted at the University of Michigan, Center of Ergonomics in 1987, based on how standing on different surfaces caused physical fatigue, showed that workers who used anti-fatigue mats felt 50% less discomfort and fatigue.

So, the effectiveness of anti-fatigue mats isn't limited to paper only. These mats actually work!



Benefits of Using Anti-Fatigue Mat at Work

If your job requires you to stand for several hours or your workplace has got standing desks for all employees, you most certainly should consider investing in an anti-fatigue mat.

There are numerous benefits of using anti-fatigue mats at work. Let's have a look at some of the most prominent ways in which anti-fatigue mats can benefit you.

Reduced Circulation-Related Problems

When you walk, the Venous Pump is activated. It's the system that works when the calf muscles contract (as you walk or move) and the blood from the legs is pumped back to the heart.

However, when you're standing in the same position for long hours, this Venous Pump doesn't work as your calf muscles don't contract when you stand still. As a result, the heart has to work harder to ensure the blood doesn't pool in your feet. The blood pooling in your legs and the increased pressure on the joints are what causes fatigue.

However, when you're standing on an anti-fatigue mat, there are continuous micro-movements in the muscles of your legs. As a result, the Venous Pump is continuously active, and you don't have to suffer the consequences of poor circulation.

Improves Posture

Most people often complain about back, neck, shoulder, and leg pain. This is mainly due to working in an incorrect posture for long hours daily. However, you can address this problem with anti-fatigue mats.

When you're standing, your joints receive most of the vertical weight of your body. This puts stress on the joints and results in joint pain. An anti-fatigue mat can reduce the stress on your joints by encouraging frequent and natural changes to your standing position that is safer for your physical health. This ensures that the vertical weight of your body is evenly spread across both legs, and muscle fatigue and leg pain due to poor standing posture is avoided.

Reduced Joint Pain and Tension Headaches

Standing on hard surfaces but stress on the feet and knee joints. As a result, you'll feel the whole of your body stiffening, which often leads to tension headaches that impair your ability to concentrate on your work.

Anti-fatigue mats are soft, reducing the stress on your feet and knee joints and preventing your body from stiffening from the legs to the neck. The result is a reduction in joint pain and tension headaches.

Enhanced Productivity and Efficiency

Working while standing can be painful. If your legs and back hurt, your focus will be diverted due to pain. This goes without saying that when you're comfortable at work, you'll be able to work with more focus and concentration.

With anti-fatigue mats, you can work while standing more comfortably and focus on your work better. When you're focused, you're able to produce better results. Enhanced comfort is directly linked to enhanced productivity and efficiency at work.

Reduced Risk of Slipping

When you're standing in the same posture for too long, your leg muscles will get fatigued and will fail to maintain your body's balance against gravity. As a result, the chances of you losing balance and slipping or tripping are quite high.

But not with anti-fatigue mats.

Anti-fatigue mats have a non-slip coating that ensures that you don't slip and hurt yourself. These mats not only help you keep your balance but also offer safety at work.



What to Look for in Anti-Fatigue Mats

Choosing the right anti-fatigue mat like the Ergonomic Anti Fatigue Mat DM1 is crucial. If you end up buying the wrong one, you won't get the benefits that these mats have got to offer.

Below are some important factors to look for when buying an anti-fatigue mat.

Quality

Always prioritize quality when buying anti-fatigue mats, even if it means paying a higher price. The higher the quality, the more effective the mat will be and the longer it will last. To check the quality, step on the mat and then step back. Observe how soon the mat takes to return to its original state. If it returns to the actual state right away, know that it's a high-quality mat.

Thickness

Buy an anti-fatigue mat that's ¾ inches thick. A mat that's too thick or too thin won't be as effective.

Size

Buy a larger mat if you move a lot at work. However, if your job requires you to stand in the same place all day long, a smaller anti-fatigue mat would do just fine!

Other important factors include the material, style, price, and warranty. Considering the right factors will ensure that your money doesn't go to waste.

Closing Word

Anti-fatigue mats can make standing jobs a lot more comfortable. Their special design ensures that the muscles of your legs don't get fatigued, there's no stress on the joints, and the circulation isn't compromised. If pain in the legs, knees, and back is a regular thing for you, you've got to invest in an anti-fatigue mat right away!