What Does an Anti Fatigue Mat Do?

Around 50% of UK employees spend all day on their feet. Many things can be introduced to the work environment to help relieve the issues related to standing all day. Special mats are often used to reduce pressure on the worker’s body. But what does an anti fatigue mat do, and how good are they?

Other solutions can include wearing the correct footwear, stretching regularly, and sitting down for regular breaks.

Slips, Trips & Falls Can Be Reduced

Slips and falls are the most common accident in the workplace so not only can mats help your posture, but they can also help reduce accidents.

Wet floors are common at work and the anti fatigue mats are designed with anti slip material so that even on a wet floor you are safe.

What is an Anti Fatigue Mat?

An anti fatigue mat is designed for use on a hard surface such as concrete or hardwood. They work by providing a softer, more supportive surface to stand on.

The construction of the mat reduces the impact of standing on a hard surface on your body.

Anti fatigue mats are usually made of rubber or vinyl. They will often be moulded to include special shapes or textures on the surface. They are designed to provide extra support and relief to workers on their feet all day.

How Do Anti Fatigue Mats Work?

They’re called anti fatigue mats because they reduce the amount of physical stresses placed on the body.

Workers needing to stand all day at work use less energy and suffer fewer aches and pains when standing on the mats. The cushioned, supportive design and uneven surface means workers muscles are kept moving.

Improved Circulation & Posture

The small amount of instability created by the mat keeps leg muscles moving, which improves circulation and posture, leading to less stress being placed on the body.

The movement means the pressure of standing up is evenly distributed over both legs. Most people will subconsciously favour one limb over another, putting increased stress on joints. Floor standing mats help eliminate this.

Reduced Fatigue

The surface of an anti fatigue mat is softer and warmer. This helps the body maintain a higher temperature.

This has the effect of reducing the work the heart has to do to warm up the body temperature, which means lower levels of fatigue.

Reduced Slips, Trips & Falls

Slips and falls are the most common accident in the workplace so not only can mats help your posture, but they can also help reduce accidents.

Wet floors are common at work and the anti fatigue mats are designed with anti slip material so that even on a wet floor you are safe.

Anti fatigue mats are designed to:-

  • Relieve physical stress on the body.
  • Improve circulation.
  • Reduce fatigue.

It may sound surprising that so many health benefits can be achieved just by changing the surface that workers are standing on.

However, a 2007 study from the University of Michigan concluded that industrial floor mats reduce worker fatigue and discomfort by up to 50%.

Mats can help workers effectively deal with standing all day at work. A healthier workforce is more productive, which can mean the mats a positive business investment.

The Rise of Standing Desks

Many workplaces now prefer their staff to stand at desks rather than sit as it’s seen as more approachable from the perspective of clients.

Standing desk sales have increased a great deal over the last few years which does take its toll on the body. Sit-in desks have been heavily criticised for being partly to blame for unhealthy lifestyles with many people not moving enough.

Health Implications of Standing All Day at Work

With so much of the UK population required to spend long periods of their work day on their feet, it’s inevitably causing some health issues.

One of the most common problems that arise is achy bodies from being stood upright for such long periods. This can put a strain on joints, and parts of the body and can lead to musculoskeletal disorders.

With so much emphasis on workers’ welfare and from a health and safety viewpoint, important steps should be taken to make the work day bearable.

One such step is to use anti fatigue mats and have them readily available at all times. It can make a day of standing up much less harsh on joints, muscles, and organs.

Pros & Cons of Anti Fatigue Mats – Are They Worth It?

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons to anti fatigue mats and it’s a case of weighing these up against your set of circumstances in the workplace.

The Pros Of Anti Fatigue Mats

Anti fatigue mats have many benefits when used correctly in the work environment:-

  • Reduces the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
  • They help support your joints, veins, and muscles.
  • Help your blood circulate as it should.
  • Your veins are under less pressure with a mat.
  • Your heart doesn’t need to work so hard as it would on a hard surface.
  • They minimise muscle contractions.
  • Handy in winter when the floors are cold.
  • Back pain is reduced.
  • Restores your correct posture.
  • It will improve your overall mood.
  • Helps protect against heart disease.
  • They are anti-slip for improved workplace safety.
  • Make work more enjoyable and productive.
  • Less sick days are needed due to reduced pain.

The Cons Of Anti Fatigue Mats

There are some drawbacks to using anti fatigue mats. Depending on your work environment some mats may not be suitable, or create other risks.

  • Foam mats can lose shape after a while.
  • They require regular cleaning.
  • The mats can pose a trip hazard (this is why most have a sloped design).
  • Some mats are softer than they need to be, which can affect balance and posture.
  • Some mats can be harder than they need to be which isn’t going to help.
  • They won’t last forever and will need replacing.

Our Verdict: Are They Worth It?

Anything that can improve our wellbeing at work has to be worth a try, surely? From an employer’s perspective, using anti fatigue mats should increase productivity and reduce sick days.

It’s important to point out that anti fatigue mats aren’t a gimmick, they are recommended by health professionals when discussing back pain.

Our bodies handle a lot every day without us even realising and this is more so the case for employees standing up all day. Having a mat to help support the body goes a long way to improve posture and help with joint pains. They are worth getting and it’s worth shopping around for the best deal.

Let’s face it, if you are in pain, tired and miserable then your enthusiasm for work is going to dwindle. Having an anti fatigue mat can rapidly increase motivation and productivity which will lead to a healthier work environment.

Top Tip: If you are an employee and think you’d benefit from a mat, It’s well worth asking your employer if they would consider purchasing one to try. You can bring it up at your next staff meeting or pop it in the suggestions box.


Do anti fatigue mats help with back pain?

Anti fatigue mats have been shown to help reduce back pain a great deal as they help support and improve your overall posture. Back pain is often caused by standing incorrectly and the mats are designed to give you much more support.

How long do anti fatigue mats last?

The more you look after your anti fatigue mat, the longer it will last but, of course, how much you paid will have some bearing too. Reading reviews before purchasing is always a good idea and some will come under warranty for a year or more.

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