Taking a Stand: What Are Anti-Fatigue Mats?

While you may not have given them much thought, you’ll find anti-fatigue mats on many industrial warehouse floors, as well as in numerous other workplace settings. And they offer your employees more benefits than you might have appreciated.  

In a nutshell, anti-fatigue mats are a type of industrial mat that offer a safer, more comfortable working environment for your staff in commercial locations. And, as the name suggests, the products are designed to prevent fatigue. Here, we explain how they work.  

What Is An Anti-Fatigue Mat? 

Anti-fatigue mats are made from different materials including rubber, wood, carpeting materials and foam (for dry areas). You can also get hardwearing vinyl-topped models.  

These floor coverings aren’t limited to industrial settings. They’re increasingly popular in places such as hairdressers’, commercial kitchens, bars, dog groomers’ and offices where people are likely to be standing for a long time on hard surfaces, for example, concrete floors.  

How Do Anti-Fatigue Mats Differ From Standard Floor Coverings?  

Anti-fatigue mats look pretty similar to their regular counterparts such as standard industrial matting. But they may be slightly thicker, or may have a series of small raised bumps over them. Rather than in appearance, the main difference lies in functionality and the way they work to encourage perpetual motion.  

How Do They Prevent Fatigue? 

The primary purpose of these products is to reduce the discomfort and fatigue which lengthy-standing can cause. Their innovative cushioning and shock absorption encourage constant movement, as feet must constantly adapt to the flexible surface.   

Your muscles then expand and contract, boosting blood flow and the volume of oxygen reaching the heart, which lessens fatigue.  

The Benefits of Using Industrial Anti-Fatigue Mats 

If you use anti-fatigue matting in your workplace, they don’t just help prevent fatigue. There are a number of other benefits, all of which can enhance work-based health and safety and employee health and wellbeing.  

Here are some of them:  

#1 They reduce aches and pains 

If you’re on your feet for lengthy spells, it can be physically tiring as well as uncomfortable, due to the added pressure on the joints and spine.  

At the same time, joint stiffness caused by a lot of standing on a hard surface can lead to shoulder and neck pain, not to mention tension headaches. The cushioning of the specialist mats reduces pressure on the body and therefore lessens headaches and joint pain, as well as aches in the back, hips and neck. It can also ease issues like swollen feet and legs, venous disorders including varicose veins and orthopaedic foot problems such as Achilles tendonitis.  

#2 They enhance health and safety in the workplace 

Anti-fatigue mats boost safety at work. They prevent slips and falls, and help protect staff from workplace-related injuries or health conditions. (Slips and trips remain the leading cause of work-related injury.) And while using anti-fatigue floor coverings isn’t actually a legal requirement in any workplace, these items are a staple of most warehouses and industrial environments where employees spend a lot of time on their feet.  

#3 Their softer texture reduces pressure on the feet 

The thicker and softer texture of anti-fatigue matting eases pressure on the feet, meaning employees can work for longer without experiencing discomfort. 

#4 They enhance employee productivity  

Staff wellbeing and retention improve, and the number of staff sick days falls.  

The health and wellbeing benefits of these floor coverings mean they enhance productivity and provide a better and more comfortable working environment. Happy workers are more productive – it really is as simple as that.  

#5 They improve circulation and posture 

Industrial anti-fatigue mats stimulate circulation and improve posture, since you cannot become too relaxed while you’re using one. The human body, after all, is not designed to be motionless for extended periods.  

When skeletal muscles contract, as they do more often when using anti-fatigue mats, this forces blood towards the heart against the flow of gravity, enhancing circulation. Constant movement stops blood from pooling in the lower half of the body.  

These mats also spread out the body’s weight on both feet, meaning people are less likely to lean to one side or slouch. 

#6 They’re easy to clean  

Anti-fatigue mats are easy to clean and look after, so they help you keep your premises spick and span. This will be especially important if your business deals in chemicals or liquids or oil.  

#7 Naturally absorbent  

The natural absorbency of anti-fatigue floor coverings yields a number of benefits. These include sound and vibration reduction, which will really matter if your workplace has loud or heavy machinery, and you want to eliminate the associated discomfort.  

Additionally, this quality helps protect against the damage caused by dropping things, such as fragile glass (which could be very handy if you run a bar). Impact is absorbed, minimising damage.  

Looking for Industrial Anti-Fatigue Mats? 

UK Mats is one of the UK’s leading mat suppliers, offering commercial entrance and floor mats to purchase and mat rental services. We also have our own on-site mat washing service, so floor mats are cleaned and fresh replacements delivered regularly, at intervals you determine. Our vast range of industrial anti-fatigue mats suits an array of workplaces, and we’re always happy to help answer any questions you may have. 

Get in touch today for an informal chat about what you need.