|Anti-fatigue mats require careful product selection before a successful purchase can be made.|
One of the major causes for back, leg and foot pain in the workplace is undertaking work that requires standing for long periods of time. Millions of dollars in lost production time each year is due to worker injury or fatigue from standing work, especially on hard surfaces.
Anti fatigue mats are ergonomic mats that actually reduce stress and leg fatigue. There is a large variety of these mats, many that are designed for specific industries. Selecting the softest rubber mat is not always a wise choice. There are many other factors to consider when choosing the right anti fatigue mat for your specific workplace environment.
Here are some helpful tips to consider when selecting an anti fatigue mat.
Determining the right resiliency of a mat is critical. Resiliency or recovery of the mat will greatly impact the comfort level for the worker standing on it. Much like a mattress that feels soft at first will actually result in more aches and pains in the morning because it did not properly support your bodyweight. The same is true for an anti fatigue mat. If the mat is too soft it can have a negative effect and actually increase fatigue rather than reducing it. An overly soft mat will typically not last as long as a quality resilient mat. A good anti fatigue mat should provide increased circulation and stimulation of leg muscles by encouraging subtle changes in posture to increase blood flow.
A mat that is too hard offers little to no benefit over a hard floor surface that can produce unwanted pressure and discomfort of leg muscles leading to an increase in fatigue and decrease in worker effectiveness.
A quality anti fatigue mat should provide a balance of comfort and responsiveness. The mat should quickly return to its original shape as the workers weight is shifted. If the mat takes too long to rebound, then it fails to provide the support, comfort and circulatory benefits of an anti fatigue mat. This delicate balance of comfort and responsiveness will ensure that the mat does not 'bottom out'. Instead the mat will absorb the shock and respond providing comfort and stability as well as adequate cushioning in the event of a fall on the mat. You want a mat that will provide the protection of a cushioned surface in the event of a fall while not giving up support and comfort for everyday standing and walking.
In summary, the old adage 'you get what you pay for' is true. That's why it is important to make an educated decision when purchasing anti fatigue matting that will fit the surface requirements and ergonomic needs of your workplace. Consider the working conditions, type of use, construction and safety features of the mat to find an effective solution with the best value.