Anti-fatigue mats are the new solution to problems that have plagued workplaces for years: wear and tear. Both old-style work environments and the new “glued to a workstation” designs suffer from this constant issue. Studies show that both standing and sitting create ergonomic problems. New ergonomic floors incorporates strategic use of matting to reduce the wear and tear on employees and customers.
Defining the issues
The ergonomics of what were previously considered “natural” work environments became clear when studies began to look at the long term effects. Sitting is actually not a natural human posture, particularly in an artificial structure like a chair. While OHS studies have long identified the issues with keyboard usage and chairs, the simple act of sitting as an ergonomic issue wasn’t recognized until some time later.
Standing and walking issues
Gravity is a constant and normal pressure acting upon. Yet constantly standing or walking on hard surfaces transforms this force into a real hazard. Studies in the US have shown that hospital workers, who are on their feet all the time, were suffering both fatigue and joint issues, simply by pounding hard corridors during long shifts.
Sitting down can be hard work, too
The sitting experience was similar, though for other reasons. Sitting in place for long periods of time can mean that people get out of their chairs feeling like they’ve just done serious athletic exercise. Joint pains, fatigue, and a feeling of having just run a marathon are the common complaints.
Sitting involves a lot of adjustments of centre of gravity. While working on a keyboard, grabbing things from around the workstation, etc., people’s centre of gravity is constantly changing.
The ergonomics of sitting, in fact, are literally weighted against the person sitting. On hard surfaces, the resistance to movement from the floor is much higher still. Even carpet only provides so much give, with the carpet fibre often making movement even more difficult.
Anti-fatigue matting to the rescue
The short answer to both standing and sitting fatigue issues is to provide a more resilient, sympathetic surface. This is where anti-fatigue matting has proven to simultaneously solve a number of problems.
The solution is elegantly simple:
- Floor matting dramatically improves poise and reduces the “floor pounding” effect. The latest heavy duty floor mats are quite tough and simultaneously provide excellent footing for walking and standing jobs. The sympathetic matting surface takes the pressure off the joints and naturally reduces fatigue.
- Anti-fatigue floor mats for workstations had similar effects. The mats provide a stable, consistent surface for movement, reducing the strains of physical adjustments to the sitting posture. The more stable matting surface counteracted the natural drag of carpets and the hard resistance of tiles or other hard flooring.
The bottom line is that to make your workplace or home office a more pleasant place to work, look at floor matting options. Everyone will feel better on the job.