Do Anti-Fatigue Mats Really Work?
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With the rise in popularity of standing desks, many are becoming familiar with anti-fatigue mats. Contrary to popular belief, tired legs are not only a result of being physically active all day, but is also a result of standing in one position for a long period of time as well. Because of this, many ask do I need an anti-fatigue mat?
Do anti-fatigue mats really work? Yes, anti-fatigue mats really do work. Anti-fatigue mats are designed to promote healthy micro movements within your feet and calves to ensure consistent blood flow while you stand at work. As a result, anti-fatigue mats create a healthier workplace for anyone who stands for extended periods of time.
With that said, there are many things to consider if you are looking to enhance your comfort while standing. In this post, we will take a closer look to answer the question: how do anti-fatigue mats work?
By the end of this post, you should have a clear idea if these mats are for you or not. Let’s get started.
Why Do You Feel Fatigued When Standing?
Before addressing what an anti-fatigue mat can do, it’s best to understand why you need it in the first place.
One of the reasons you feel fatigued when standing is because of the process called the Venous pump. Every time you take one walking step, your calf muscles contract, squeezing blood back into your heart. This ensures a healthy and well-performing blood circulation within your entire body.
This process, however, does not happen when you stand still. It only happens when the muscles in your legs contract, just like when you walk or run. Lack of blood circulation results in blood pooling in the lower limbs, causing more work for the heart to pump it back throughout your body. This is what makes you feel fatigued.
What is an Anti-Fatigue Mat?
An anti-fatigue mat is a mat specifically designed to reduce fatigue caused by standing for long periods of time on a hard surface. It also protects people from long-term health conditions that can be caused by standing. These mats can be made of various materials including rubber, carpets, vinyl, and wood.
Anti-fatigue mats are often found in workplaces that require long hours of standing. The main purpose of anti-fatigue mats is to create a comfortable working surface for an individual to stand on while they work. This in turn, will help to prevent work-related injuries, increase productivity, boost morale, and reduce fatigue.
Do Anti-Fatigue Mats Work?
While the benefits of anti-fatigue mats are often discussed when talking about proper office ergonomics, many still question the function of these simple office tools. After all, they are just regular mats, or are they?
Do anti-fatigue mats really work? It’s safe to confirm that these mats really do work.
Infact, a new study at England’s Loughborough University, led by two professors (George Havenith and Lucy Dorman), confirms that anti-fatigue mats can have a significant, beneficial impact on the health of workers who must stand for long periods of time. The study was conducted in a special laboratory created for the test.
The study involved 14 participants who were instructed to stand on a concrete floor, some with anti-fatigue mats, some without, for 90-minute sessions over a 5-day period.
With a variety of methods to measure tiredness and fatigue, including infrared thermal imaging, body temperature sensors, and infrared photographs, the researchers were able to accurately measure the negative effects of standing without the use anti-fatigue mats.
It was no surprise that the participants standing without anti-fatigue mats experienced serious discomfort, particularly in the feet and legs. Not to mention, they suffered major neck and shoulders stiffness. This simply means that standing for a long period of time without any movements can cause harm to the body.
The study also concluded that the use of anti-fatigue mats can help prevent many of the health concerns caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
Let’s take a closer look at how these things promote a healthier way to work while standing...
How Do Anti-Fatigue Mats Work?
So, how do anti-fatigue mats work? Anti-fatigue mats work by providing a softer surface to stand on, which encourages micro-movements in the calf and leg muscles, preventing you from staying motionless.
While these movements cannot be seen, they are enough to keep you slightly off-balance, causing you to constantly adjust your feet, as opposed to remaining in a static position. This prevents blood from pooling in the legs while reducing the pressure on joints that causes pain and discomfort in the first place.
In addition to distributing the pressure evenly on both legs, frequently making natural changes to your standing position will also reduce tension in your neck and shoulders. This will prevent headaches, while taking pressure off your upper body, which is extremely paramount if you suffer from back pain.
PRO TIP: Anti-fatigue mats are often used together with standing desks. The combination of both is used to promote a more active form of working, as opposed to sitting down for long hours on end. Consider reading our best standing desk converter reviews if you are keen on becoming healthier at home or at the office.
And there you have it, a simple post to answer: do anti-fatigue mats really work? Equipped with this new insight on how anti-fatigue mats work, you are now well-informed on how to make your workplace more comfortable while preventing fatigue altogether. Now, it is easy to see why many opt to buy this special tool.
While it is not a legal requirement for offices to provide anti-fatigue mats, the fact that they increase productivity makes it a wise choice to invest in them, so why not take a look at the best options today?
In conclusion, the use of anti-fatigue mats does not eliminate sore feet by itself. However, when combined with proper ergonomic design and high-quality footwear, they can help improve working conditions while taking your productivity to new heights, literally and figuratively. 🙂
See also: Ergonomic Desks