There is this saying we came across, "When your feet hurt, you hurt all over."
So then imagine those who face this very situation everyday because of their work conditions. Prolonged standing, hard flooring and inappropriate footwear are common working conditions. These cause discomfort, pain and fatigue, and also set up the worker for related injuries that affect muscles and joints. It is also a fact that a worker, who is tired, fatigued and in pain will be less attentive or act carelessly and be the cause of harm to themselves and others around them.
Working and standing in one position for long periods of time causes sore feet, swelling of the legs, varicose veins, general muscular fatigue, lower back pain, stiff neck and shoulders. Prolonged and frequent standing, without relief by walking causes muscle strain, blood to pool in the legs and feet. Excessive standing also causes joints in the spine, hips, knees and feet to become temporarily immobilized or locked. This immobility can later lead to rheumatic diseases due to degenerative damage to the tendons and ligaments.
These are the most prevalent problems faced by sales people, machine operators, assembly-line workers and others whose jobs require prolonged standing.
As an employer, it is in your best interest to ensure that your employees have the best working environment they can get. It is the responsibility of the company to regularly assess their workplace and make sure it is safe for the employees who work there on a daily basis. Here some points you should consider if your business and work-place requires a person to stand all day at work.
What are anti-fatigue mats and when should they be used?
Changes in working/standing position: Organize the workspace such that your employee has some choice about his/her working position. This mean add an optional seat (chair, sit/stand stool) and some kind of footrest to the workstation which will encourage/allow the worker to change body positions frequently.
Footwear: Encourage your employees to choose the correct footwear. Shoes they wear should have sufficient arch and heel support and cushioning and at the same time be comfortable.
Flooring: The type of flooring you use in your workplace is also very important for the comfort and safety of your employees. Floors that are hard and unyielding floors, like concrete floors, are very uncomfortable to walk or work on and is said have the same effect as a hammer pounding the heel at every step. Look at investing in floor coverings that will be gentle on your workers feet and provides them with comfort and relieve fatigue.
As mentioned, standing for long hours on hard and unyielding floors will cause discomfort to your employees leading to leg/feet fatigue and pain. Provide floor coverings that will be gentle on the workers feet. Look at floor covering made of wood, cork, carpeting, or rubber. Alternatively invest specifically in Anti-Fatigue matting
that can be used wherever workers have to stand or walk.
Made of various materials like rubber, carpeting materials, vinyl or wood, Anti-Fatigue mats have been specially designed to reduce foot fatigue caused by standing for long periods on cold and hard surfaces. They provide underfoot cushioning that prompts movement of the leg and calf muscles, which in turn will promote blood flow and reduce foot fatigue.
Here are some Anti-Fatigue Mats that you can use to reduce foot/leg fatigue and provide a comfortable work environment for your employees.
Cushion Soft Anti-fatigue Mats
Economic Anti-Fatigue Mat used at YYoga Studio
Cushion Soft Anti-fatigue Mats in a bark tread pattern is an excellent alternative to cold and hard concrete floors. This mat is ideal for industrial and commercial applications and as the name suggests are an economical solution to preventing pressure pain from prolonged standing
Made out of durable PVC, this has a cushioned backing which will provide the workers with comfortable underfoot cushioning; which is sure to relieve foot fatigue and tiredness. The textured surface of the Cushion Soft Anti-fatigue mat and its bevelled edges is perfect for a non-slip environment which will bring down the risk of slip and fall injuries.
Mats are available in 2' x 3', 3' x 4' and 3' x 5' sizes. You can choose between a black or grey color and if needed you can get these in custom cut sizes which are available in linear ft. Sizes.
The Cushion Soft Anti-Fatigue Mat is a favourite with our customer, YYOGA, a Yoga and Pilate’s studio in Vancouver. These mats provide comfort to the workers who stand bare feet behind the counter all day welcoming their patrons.
Diamond Shield Anti-fatigue Mats
Diamond Shield Anti-Fatigue Mat
A durable mat in diamond tread is perfect for industrial and commercial areas as they are a long lasting solution for comfort from cold hard concrete floors. These anti-fatigue mats can resist many harsh chemicals in an industrial environment because of its self-extinguishing top surface.
Made out of durable PVC, these anti-fatigue mats are designed for extended wear and tear and offers greater traction. The mat comes with a ramped edging and has a foam cushioned backing which will provide a great deal of comfort when standing for a prolonged period of time.
Mats are available in 2' x 3' , 3' x 5' sizes, comes in Black and Black/Yellow colors and you have the option of ordering these in custom cut sizes available in linear ft. Sizes.
These mats are extensively used at the 20 toll booths at the ferry terminal. These mats help alleviate fatigue of the toll booth operators when they have to stand during their work day.
Comfort Tract Anti Fatigue Mats
Comfort Tract Anti-Fatigue Mat
Comfort Tract Anti-fatigue Mats with it light weight design and high performance is an excellent anti-fatigue choice for industrial and commercial work stations.
Comfort Tract at 1/2" thick has a moulded bevel edge on all sides that keeps the mat in place and gives easy employee and cart access. A moulded cross bar surface ensures safety while the multi-knob under side provides comfort and enhances drainage and cleanliness.
The mat is made of tough grease-resistant rubber that can withstand machine tool cutting fluids, Butyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide and similar liquids found in industrial and commercial situations.
This mat is available in two stock sizes, 3"x5" and 3"x10", and two formulations grease resistant (black) and grease proof (gray).
Now that we have established how standing for a prolonged period of time, especially on cold hard surfaces, causes leg, foot fatigue and numerous related issues; there is a flip side that we would like to mention here. According to research, sitting for long periods of time has also been linked with a number of health concerns. These issues range from obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels and excess body fat around the waist.
The solution to prevent these health issues then would be to have a good balance of sitting, standing and walking around during the work day. As mentioned before, if your business requires your employee to stand all the time then provide them with an optional seat like a chair or stool along with a good anti-fatigue mat. And if work has your employees sitting at their desk for long periods of time, give them the option of doing their work while standing (and at the same time ensuring their feet don’t get fatigued when they do so). Wondering how you could do this. BC Hydro, a Canadian electric utility did just that. Read on..
Companion Anti-Fatigue Mats
Companion Anti-Fatigue Mats
A portable anti-fatigue mat, the Companion Anti-Fatigue Mat, is small, designed such that they can be moved around easily, used when needed and stowed away after use. This is a favourite with our customer, BC Hydro, as it provides the perfect solution for their employees who sit at their workstation for a prolonged time. It is hung up at their workstation when the employees prefer to be sitting. When they are ready to change positions, they move their chair out o the way, put the Companion mat down and transform their space to a standing work station.
Made out of 100% recyclable polyurethane, Companion Mats, offer ultimate comfort whether you are standing, sitting or kneeling while doing any type of work. These mats are your companion as they are portable, come with a handle and can be easily carried off to anywhere that you go
These mats will never lose their bounce or resiliency, will never laminate or curl up. These mats are 100% recyclable, environmentally friendly and can be converted to viable and useful products at the end of its life (which will be more than 7 years)
These mats have a non-skid bottom, slip resistant top surface and 20-degree ADA compliant bevelled edges and will reduce incidents of slips and falls. They are naturally antimicrobial, are safe and non-toxic and emit no noxious gases.
Come in five beautiful colours - Black, Gray, Tan, Brown and Burgundy and is available in a 22" x 18" size.
As you can see, Anti-Fatigue Mats are the perfect solution for boosting productivity of your employees. These mats will improve health, let your employees bid goodbye to all their aches and pains. Make your employees happy by giving them a safer and more comfortable work space. This will automatically improve the morale of the workers and decrease absenteeism due to fatigue.
If you want to see more of these products, look at our list of Anti-Fatigue Mats.
“Health and fatigue related information from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety