If you’ve ever worked while standing for hours at a time, you might be familiar with the issues that this type of work can cause. Today’s office workspaces use standing desks that provide numerous health benefits, but can still cause problems. As the business world trends towards ergonomic design, finding solutions for these types of work conditions becomes absolutely critical.
This is why anti-fatigue mats are so crucial. They have become invaluable tools in any modern workplace that features standing jobs. While they might seem like ordinary mats, they provide a wide variety of benefits to employees and employers alike. Here are some of the most notable of these benefits that you should consider for your workplace.
Preventing slips and falls
One of the most obvious benefits of any kind of mat is its ability to prevent accidents such as slips and falls. When working in slippery conditions or areas with high moisture, having an anti-slip mat is absolutely essential. Over half of global employee injuries are related to these types of accidents, which is exactly why mats are such important tools in such work conditions.
The great thing about anti-fatigue mats is the fact that they double as non-slip mats as well. They’re constructed from materials that allow the mat to stay in place even on oily surfaces. At the same time, the top part of the mat allows for a strong grip when an individual stands on it. This helps minimise the risk of slips and falls in any work environment.
For areas that have lots of oil and moisture, it’s recommended that you choose drainable anti-fatigue mats. They allow spillages to dissipate quickly, which can be incredibly helpful if there’s a drainage system present.
Spills are not the only hazards that affect workers negatively. Low temperatures can have an enormous effect on the comfort and productivity of an employee, even when they’re wearing adequate clothing and footwear.
Concrete flooring is known for causing discomfort in some work conditions. This can be exacerbated by low ambient temperatures, such as workplaces where an employee works outside or near refrigerators. If providing extra warmth isn’t a possibility, an anti-fatigue mat can be used instead.
These mats have excellent insulative properties on cold surfaces. An employee will feel a lot warmer and more comfortable standing and walking on an anti-fatigue mat than they will on open, concrete flooring. It’s worth noting that anti-fatigue mats can also reduce heating costs if they cover a significant portion of the floor, as the insulation works both ways.
Problems with posture are another common cause of workplace injuries. Whether an employee is sitting or standing for prolonged periods, they can be affected by improper posture. This is especially noticeable with employees that stand on uncomfortable flooring. If their posture suffers, they are more likely to feel hip and back pain, and they are at a higher risk of vein complications of the lower extremities.
Because of this, it’s recommended that you provide anti-fatigue mats to all employees that stand during their shifts. The mats force employees to stand in a specific position which keeps their backs straight and improves their posture. As a result, they passively learn how to stand properly, even if they spend hours in a standing position. Their risk of injury is much lower with the help of a standing anti-fatigue mat, and they feel much better at the end of their shift.
The main goal of every workplace measure is to increase productivity. When employees stand for long periods, they are more likely to feel tired and uncomfortable, which then reduces their productivity significantly. Even if they have good posture, they are much more likely to tire out if they maintain a single position for too long.
As their name suggests, anti-fatigue mats help resolve this issue. The added comfort and safety that they provide help keep employees productive, and the reduced risk of injury keeps absenteeism down. With a few high quality anti fatigue mats, it’s possible to improve the efficiency of your operation both in the short and long run. Installing these mats in strategic positions will have an enormous impact on your business and the satisfaction of your employees.
Reducing joint pain
The nature of standing work inevitably leads to joint pain. If an employee is acclimatised to standing in one position, their body will keep them in that position to conserve energy. With minimal movement, joints can’t adapt properly and numerous issues can arise. Plenty of people suffer from joint pain outside of their workplace, and a standing position can exacerbate the problem further.
While an anti-fatigue mat can’t solve the underlying issue of joint pain, it can reduce the impact of standing for prolonged periods. These mats are designed in such a way to stimulate small, subtle movements which help keep joints active. Some models are designed at a small slope which can help improve posture and joint position passively. To switch things up, employers can turn these mats around every day, allowing employee joints to adapt to a slightly different environment. This small change keeps joints slightly more active, reducing the risk of further joint pain.
As muscles remain active when standing on an anti-fatigue mat, this has the added benefit of helping individuals with varicose veins. While standing work would otherwise exacerbate the issue, an anti-fatigue mat helps keep it in check.
There are numerous uses for anti-fatigue mats in modern workplaces. Primarily, they help businesses create a safe and healthy work environment. Whether you run a dock or an office, you can probably find a place for an anti-fatigue mat in the workspace. The popularity of standing desks in offices has increased the need for these mats dramatically. Standing work might have been considered a tiresome and unhealthy option before, but with the help of anti-fatigue mats, it can be an even healthier alternative to a typical desk job.
Consider some of the above benefits when designing your workplace. An anti-fatigue mat can provide your employees with a level of comfort that will increase their productivity and keep them healthy enough to work in standing work environments without issue.