Anti-fatigue mats are a good tool for reducing the potential strain from standing for a long period of time, helping keep employees safe, comfortable and efficient.
Anti-fatigue mats are fairly affordable and can help workers in almost any field. The only real requirement for a worker to benefit is regularly standing in one or a few spots for extended time periods.
The Basics of Anti-Fatigue Mats
An anti-fatigue mat is designed to reduce the strain of standing for extended time periods. These mats are generally black and made of a composite of materials, with a soft inner foam core and then a durable surface to contain the foam and maintain grip.
The idea behind these mats is that a surface designed for comfortable standing produces less wear on the human body, especially the back and feet and it can thus reduce discomfort and improve employee productivity.
We’ve been major proponents of anti-fatigue mats for a while and not just because we can equip businesses with them. Anti-fatigue mats are an often overlooked tool to help employees perform at their best and we’ve written about their benefits in the past.
Who Needs Anti-Fatigue Mats?
Unless a cashier is permitted to sit, they may be standing in a fairly small area for hours at a time. Many cashiers cannot stretch or take breaks because they have to be ready whenever a customer wants to check out.
An anti-fatigue mat can greatly reduce the toll this type of work takes on a worker’s body. Even if they don’t complain, cashiers are frontline workers with significant customer contact. Discomfort can show in a person’s mannerisms and speech, even if they’re still polite and courteous. Keeping cashiers comfortable may not only improve their morale and focus, but it might also help the overall customer experience.
Many officer workers sit most of the day, meaning an anti-fatigue mat isn’t always going to be necessary. However, many offices now encourage standing at one’s desk rather than sitting, which can have various benefits. However, standing also strains the body in ways that sitting doesn’t and an anti-fatigue mat can help.
While security professionals may be mobile or sitting (and thus not always able to benefit from an anti-fatigue mat), some stand for hours in a particular place to perform their duties. It’s especially important that a security professional is alert and focused on their environment because they need to be able to respond swiftly to any issues that arise.
Kitchen work can be fairly fatiguing and kitchen employees are usually on their feet for most of their shift. While they may need to be relatively mobile, they most often work at set stations. This means that anti-fatigue mats can still be useful. Equip each station with a mat and employees will be able to stand more comfortably for most of their shift. Beyond just employee comfort, keeping a kitchen as distraction-free as possible can improve safety.
Bartenders and similar service staff often must be active and ready to engage with customers, but they may spend significant amounts of time standing still. They can greatly benefit from anti-fatigue mats, especially when a counter or other obstacle visually blocks the mat, meaning it will have no impact on how customers perceive a space’s aesthetic.
An anti-fatigue mat can also double as a gripping surface for these individuals. This is especially useful in a bar setting where spills are possible and tripping could cause a person to strike a hard counter or damage potentially expensive bottles and other materials.
Assembly Line Workers
Workers standing at a station for multiple hours per day will benefit from an anti-fatigue mat. This is especially true if they work around heavy equipment where an error or slip could be a major hazard. Employees in assembly work and similar jobs might specifically benefit from longer anti-fatigue mats so they can more easily move about as needed to perform their duties.
A Good Investment
There aren’t many downsides to anti-fatigue floor mats. They’re affordable, fairly unobtrusive, keep employees more comfortable and can improve productivity because they may boost employee comfort levels. These mats address what is often an invisible issue. Employees don’t always complain about the discomfort of standing for extended periods, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect them.
People curious about anti-fatigue mats should see how we at Alsco can help. We offer a variety of floor mats, including anti-fatigue mats, that can help businesses to better protect employees, customers and floors. Contact us today to get started with our services.
Anti-Fatigue Mats, Low Back Pain and Electromyography: An Interventional Study. (2015). International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health.
The Effect of Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat on Pain and Fatigue Levels of Surgical Team Members: A Crossover Study. (July 2023). Applied Ergonomics.
Effects of Anti-Fatigue Mats on Perceived Discomfort and Weight-Shifting During Prolonged Standing. (November 2012). Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.