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How Anti-Fatigue Mats Reduce Physical Fatigue in the Workplace

27 Oct, 2017
industrial worker at tool workshop

Many workers have to stand for long periods to perform their task, often unthinking of the consequences. At worst, this can lead to serious circulatory problems. At best, it causes physical fatigue among workers.

Physical fatigue is a result of muscle constriction and reduction of blood flow. When muscles constrict, the heart works harder to pump blood through constricted areas, causing the body to run out of energy. This leads to discomfort, pain and fatigue.

So, what’s being done to end this distress? For one, anti-fatigue mats. This special type of mat encourages the subtle movement of leg and calf muscles, consequentially easing the blood flow of blood back to the heart. As a result, fatigue is significantly reduced.

Proven by Research

A study conducted at the Center of Ergonomics at the University of Michigan was able to confirm the effectiveness of anti-fatigue mats. The research involved 14 participants, who were asked to stand throughout their shift.

The results were clear: workers who stood on hard concrete floors for long periods experienced high levels of fatigue in the back, legs and throughout the body. In contrast, those who stood on anti-fatigue mats reduced their level of fatigue by up to 50%.

2012 study at England’s Loughborough University also established the health benefits of anti-fatigue mats. The study involved 14 subjects, who were asked to stand on anti-fatigue mats or a concrete floor for 90 minutes over five days. The findings revealed that standing for that long a period led to serious discomfort in the legs, back and feet, in addition to stiffness to the neck and shoulders.

But the research stumbled upon another important discovery: standing on anti-fatigue mats not only reduces fatigue, it also prevents circulatory problems associated with standing for prolonged periods.

How Anti-Fatigue Mats Work

Fatigue results from the overexertion of the heart to pump blood. An anti-fatigue mat allows the muscles to contract and expand as they adapt to the mat’s flexibility. This subtle muscle movement promotes blood flow and increases the amount of oxygen reaching the heart. As a result, fatigue is greatly reduced.

MatTek’s Anti-Fatigue Mats for wet areas are suitable for laboratories, food preparation facilities and bars. Our mats can be made in special formulas to resist acids, grease, chemicals or other fluids.

To request a quote or advice on the most suitable matting solution, contact our specialists today.

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