Millions of employees in the UK spend their entire working day standing. Although being active does of course provide many health benefits, working in a job that requires standing on your feet all day can cause a number of issues including:
- On average, workers who stand all day exert 20% more energy compared to those who sit down
- According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), an average of 131 million days are lost to sickness absence every year. 24% of these are due to back, leg or foot pain – the biggest cause of staff absences even over coughs, colds, stress, anxiety and depression
- A study from Loughborough University found that is takes just 90 minutes for fatigue to set in and only 50 minutes for concentration to decrease.
Some jobs are naturally more active and will require workers to stand for long periods of time. Whilst this may be unavoidable, there are a number of things that employers can do to help protect the health and wellbeing of their staff.
As the name would suggest, anti fatigue mats are designed to reduce fatigue caused by standing for long periods of time on a hard surface. They can help staff to feel more comfortable as well as increase concentration and efficiency whilst of course providing additional safety in the workplace.
They are ideally suited to customer service counters, reception desks, bar areas, supermarket counters and workstations. There are a number of benefits of investing in anti fatigue mats including:
Quite simply, our bodies are not designed to stand for long periods of time which is why workers who are on their feet all day are usually a lot more tired than others.
Anti fatigue mats can help to improve staff productivity in a number of ways however. They improve concentration, insulate against cold floors and reduce energy use by relieving tension and supporting the muscles which are being used.
Anti fatigue mats are made up of small cushioned air dooms which help to stimulate cyclic muscle contractions. This encourages foot and body movement, promotes posture changes and stimulates blood circulation.
They also make natural, frequent and minor changes to your standing position which helps to prevent joint stiffness. Furthermore, they reduce headaches by easing tension in the neck and shoulders.
Back pain is a common complaint amongst workers who are on their feet all day and anti fatigue mats can really help to prevent this from happening in the first place as well as relieve existing symptoms. They do this by relieving pressure on the spine and reducing the strain on the muscles in the back.
Offers better health and safety protection
Anti fatigue mats absorb the shock due caused by walking. This cushioning effect reduces foot pressure, fatigue and the likelihood of injuries occurring. Their textured or ribbed surface also helps to prevent slips which means that as an employer, you are less likely to have a claim made against you.