What are Anti Fatigue Mats?
Anti fatigue mats are also referred to as standing mats, comforts mats, pressure mats or anti-fatigue comfort mats. They are made with a technology that is typically comprised of a polyurethane foam core. This core technology is sometimes proprietary and trademarked. Regardless of the technology behind the mat, anti fatigue mats are engineered to:
- stimulate blood circulation in feet and legs
- increase comfort while standing
- reduce fatigue and minimize chronic injuries
- improve workplace safety and productivity
The name ‘anti fatigue’ implies the comfort mats have been designed specifically to reduce fatigue. There are countless studies that show they promote better posture, improve circulation and help to disperse body weight evenly to relieve stress on feet, knees, hips and back. In regards to the workplace, research shows that standing mats make it more comfortable to stand for long periods of time, reduce injuries, and lead to an increase in productivity.
Mats that have been created specifically to alleviate fatigue can be used in a wide range of settings from the home and office to the factory floor. Anti fatigue mats can be used in the kitchen, laundry room, with stand up desks, at customer service counters, in your medical practice, at a mechanic’s bench or on an assembly line.
The Anti Fatigue Mats & Standing
There has been a great deal of research conducted and scientific evidence that clearly shows that sitting is bad for your health. There are studies that show that if you sit for 8 hours a day, not even regular exercise can off-set the negative impact of sitting. Sitting too much over a long time has been linked to more than 30 chronic diseases that include, obesity, diabetes, depression and back pain to mention only a few. Because of how insidious sitting is, the ‘standing movement’ is gaining momentum.
Many employers are jumping on board and bringing standing desks, sit-stand desks and even treadmill desks into the workspace. Without contest, standing is better than sitting, but even standing is harmful over time.
The Science of Standing
The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OHSA) has extensive research that has identified health issues linked to Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD). OSHA defines MSDs as “injuries and illnesses of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage and spinal discs.” (i)
These health issues are linked to workplace risk factors that have potential to cause MSDs. These factors are too numerous to include in this article, but here are some key categories of specific risks:
- Static posture
- Contact stress
- Awkward postures
- Cold temperatures
‘Static posture’ is the one risk we want to focus on when talking about sitting vs. standing. The key is in movement. Breaking up your sitting day with standing is better than going to the gym once a day. Standing all day without changing your posture or moving around is going to result in health issues as well. (ii)
A properly engineered anti-fatigue mat helps to prevent the health problems caused by standing on hard flooring. A standing mat not only provides a firm, supportive surface to stand on, it has the right amount of cushion which encourages you to adjust your position, flexing the muscles in your feet and legs. This in turn increases movement, disperses your weight evenly, and enhances blood flow and circulation.
Studies conducted by the 3M Company show that anti fatigue mats clearly reduce stress and strain on the body. One study looked at overall tiredness while standing and found that a person could stand for 40% longer before becoming tired compared to a person on hard flooring. For lower back discomfort a person could stand 50% longer. Even more astonishingly a person standing on an anti fatigue mat could stand 180% longer before experiencing foot discomfort.
Another university lab study done by 3M showed that an anti fatigue mat reduced the average foot pressure from 15 psi on hard flooring to 6 psi on the comfort mat. The biometric measurements in this study also showed that the pressure was more evenly distributed over the entire foot.
Selecting an Anti-Fatigue MatWhen purchasing your anti fatigue comfort mat, the expression "you get what you pay for" is especially true. You don’t have to pay a fortune for a good standing mat, but a cheaper mat will almost certainly be made with inferior materials.
One of the most important things to determine is whether or not the manufacturer stands behind their product. Some of the best anti fatigue mats available will back their mats with a lifetime guarantee. At the very least, a one year warranty should ensure that you are purchasing a mat made from higher-quality material, and that it will continue to perform well for an extended period of time.
Some other basic requirement that you should look for are:
- For maximum safety in any situation the mat must have an anti-slip backing, and it should have beveled edges to avoid tripping hazards.
- Is that mat eco-friendly and made with non-toxic materials? Mats must be safe for children and pets.
- Ensure the comfort mat has been optimized for softness and hardness. If the mat is being sold as the ‘plushest on the market’ - steer clear!
- Too much instability increases the risk of being off balance, making the mat an unsafe surface to stand on.
- Too much stability means you might find it too comfortable and not change your posture from time to time. Changing your posture works the muscles in your legs and this in turn helps to keep the circulation of blood in your feet and legs.
- The mat must be easy to clean. You should be able to clean the mat using just soapy water and a cloth or mop. You should never use abrasive or caustic cleaners on your anti fatigue mat.
The Net Result
Science clearly supports that standing is a better option than sitting all day. It isn’t just as simple as standing up all day though. Proper posture, and sufficient footwear are essential to your standing routine. You also need to have a properly optimized, ergonomic workstation and an anti fatigue mat is a key part of that workstation set up.
Sky Mat Anti Fatigue Comfort Mat
Sky Mat anti fatigue mats have been designed and tested to be the best on the market, and they are backed by a 100% guarantee.
- Environmentally friendly and non-toxic. Child & pet safe.
- Durable construction. Lifetime Warranty.
- Resistant to stains and abrasions. Easy to clean.
- Anti-slip backing & beveled edges. Increased safety.
- Anti-microbial. Mold & mildew resistant.
- Ideal foam density. 180kg/M3.
- Ideal mat thickness. 3/4".
- Looks great in any use. 5 attractive colors.
Purchase Sky Mat Anti Fatigue Mat Today.
Purchase our anti fatigue mats online. Reduced to $57.97 from $77.97.