What Are Anti Fatigue Mats?
For the majority of people, anti fatigue mats don’t look particularly interesting of distinguishable from other types of rubber matting. They are typically around a metre wide by a one or two metres long. However, despite their ordinal appearance anti fatigue mats help to reduce the strain on muscles and joints to increase concentration while simultaneously reducing fatigue.
Who Uses Anti Fatigue Mats?
Anti fatigue mats play a crucial role in many industries, to increase productivity while also preserving the health of staff. Jobs which require their staff to be on their feet for the majority of the day can all benefit from the use of anti fatigue mats. Some examples of such industries are; bar / kitchen staff, warehouse workers, assembly line and many more.
How Do They Work?
Standing for long periods of time on a hard surface is not only uncomfortable but also causes physical fatigue. As the leg muscles become static overtime, the muscles have to work harder to sustain that upright position. This reduces blood flow which causes physical as well as mental strain and discomfort, which reduces productivity and overall morale.
In this case the employees’ heart has to work harder to pump blood which, in turn burns more energy. Aside from the strain on the heart, the leg muscles, particularly the ones around the knee are constantly tense. This will put additional pressure on the joints which can cause strain over long periods of time.
If you then introduce an anti fatigue mat into this scenario the strain is greatly reduced. The subtle flexibility of the anti fatigue mat encourages the users to adjust their feet and legs which enables the muscles to contract and expand. This muscle movement however slight it may be, increases the blood flow and the amount of oxygen which reaches the heart. This greatly reduces fatigue and ensures that the brain remains sharp at all times.
Key Factors To Look Out For
It is not a case of simply installing a soft mat as a rubber mat which is too sort or hard will still cause strain. Tests show that the ideal firmness of an anti fatigue mat is between 0.6 and 0.9 Mpa. This firmness is just enough to compress slightly underfoot without bending completely.
Mats which are too hard can cause the user to stand too rigidly, which can lead to potential blood clots in the legs as they are unable to move comfortably. Equally, the user will likely move too much when the mat is too soft, which can affect the posture of their body. This can cause discomfort to the knees, ankles and hips while also attributing to back pain later on in life.
The ideal ratio of ethylene content in the mat should range from 45% to 85%. The higher the ethylene percentage, the harder the mat will be underfoot. Essentially, the mat should be able to instantly return to its original shape once any weight or pressure is moved from one side to the other. If the ethylene content is not high enough the mat will take longer to return to its original shape. This can result in an uneven walking surface which can pose potential tripping hazards.
The design on the top surface of the anti fatigue mats typically feature ridges and indents which can collect dirt and debris after use. To ensure the anti fatigue mats functions to its full potential you may want to clean it once or twice a week depending on usage. In order to ensure the mat doesn’t deteriorate during use it is important to chose a mat which is manufactured from easy to clean materials, such as a closed cell foam. This particular material is also excellent at withstanding long periods of use without deteriorating.