Matting for anti-fatigue
Millions of workers spend the majority of the working day on their feet and many hours in static positions. Standing uses 20% more energy than sitting and because human bodies are not designed to stand at work, prolonged standing can lead to tiredness, loss of concentration and increased health risks.
How does prolonged standing affect the body?
Blood is circulated through cyclic muscle contractions. When the muscles are keeping the person standing through one long muscle contraction they are put under strain and cannot pump the blood back to the heart efficiently.
The first symptoms of prolonged standing are commonly tiredness, discomfort and fatigue to the legs. The feet are then most likely to become affected: the foot is made up of bones, joints, nerves, tendons, muscles and connective tissue. If these body tissues are stressed through prolonged standing they can become swollen which in turn can lead to chronic inflammation causing scar tissue to form and changes in the bone structure to occur.
Prolonged standing is also linked to an increased risk of varicose veins, heart problems, stroke and problems in pregnancy.
How can prolonged standing affect the employer?
Missed deadlines, impaired performance levels, increased risk of employee-related accidents, employee absences due to sick leave, increased over-time, the need to employ temporary staff, downturn in productivity, downturn in profits.
Finding a solution
Providing sufficient seating and rest breaks, which allow people to move around, is best practice but when workers must inevitably stand at their job, installing high performance, specially designed anti-fatigue matting can help reduce fatigue and minimize health risks whilst making standing at work more comfortable and also more productive.
Concrete is generally the worst surface to stand on. Anti-fatigue foam matting is ideal for standing locations, however, for wet applications, anti slip mats with an open grid should be considered in order to allow efficient drainage of liquids. These are specifically designed for slippery environments, should not slide on the floor and have sloped edges so that they are not a trip hazard.
Prolonged working at a bench is usually a static, laborious job, which is tiring, especially if the floor is hard. Workers at production lines must also either stand or walk up and down the lines which put considerable strain on the lower limbs and back. Spillages of grease, liquids, oil and water can also make the floor itself slippery and potentially hazardous.
Plastex Vynagrip and Heronair matting combine anti-fatigue and slip resistant properties, with the appropriate degree of underfoot cushioning, in order to provide a comfortable and safe surface which will reduce standing fatigue, boost productivity and relieve back and body strain.
In refrigerated areas, Vynagrip can also provide insulation to protect from the discomfort and fatiguing effects of cold floors.
For the health and safety and production reasons, it is essential that machine and control equipment operatives remain alert at all times even though their job necessitates them to stand for lengthy periods.
Anti-fatigue matting for heavy duty applications feature products with extra thermally bonded surface matting for excellent wear and slip resistance. can reduce standing fatigue so workers are less tired and capable of concentrating for longer, which in turn improves productivity. In addition, anti-fatigue matting Sparksafe, which repels sparks and hot metal shards, is recommended wherever tools generate heat and sparks.
Employees in many industries are required to stand at reception desks and service counters for protracted periods without sitting.
Anti-fatigue matting can greatly enhance working conditions and improve the comfort, well being and performance of service staff who must also interact with customers.
Plastex's anti-fatigue matting range for dry applications feature products that require standing for a long time with good to excellent bouncing properties and wear resistance.
For places where the flooring gets contaminated with the presence of liquids, chemical substances and similar, Plastex open grid matting Heronair and Vynagrip have proven to be the ideal solution in order to prevent slip accidents whilst reducing muscle fatigue and back injuries, depending on the level of slip resistance required.