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Frightening Facts About Fatigue

Most of us will have experienced pain in some way from prolonged standing on a hard floor surface. When this creeps on we tend to move our weight naturally from foot to foot, or stretch muscles to alleviate the discomfort.

It is easy to ignore the odd niggle if this only happens occasionally.  But what if our occupation requires us to stand for long periods of time on a hard floor surface? It’s easy to visualise jobs such as assembly line workers, but there are many more occupations where standing is normal. For example, cashiers, bar tenders or catering service staff, teachers, medical professionals and machine operators will all stand for longer than average periods of time, generally in quite static positions.  But the effects from standing-related fatigue are quite scary and if neglected, can lead to more serious health problems than just the ‘odd ache or pain’.

scary-pumpkin on anti-fatigue matting
Scary-pumpkin on anti-fatigue matting

Common long-term symptoms include varicose veins, bunions, lower back pain, Achilles tendonitis, heel ailments such as plantar fasciitis, arthritis, joint stiffness and even heart/circulatory problems.  Pain and tiredness in the workplace can also lead to a lapse in concentration which can in turn cause other accidents.

Scary, without doubt!  However, there is a simple solution that is very helpful in delaying the onset of fatigue from standing.  Anti-fatigue mats from COBA Europe are designed specifically for this purpose and have been scientifically proven by independent tests to improve comfort underfoot.

So how does anti-fatigue matting actually work? For a start, feet naturally move very subtly to adapt to the cushion surface which helps promote healthy blood circulation. Improved blood circulation ensures oxygen reaches the heart known as the venous system – (it returns deoxygenated blood via the veins from all parts of the body to the right side of the heart and then on to the lungs to be oxygenated, where it then passes blood to the left of the heart. It is subsequently pumped to all organs and tissues throughout the body.)

Many veins, especially veins in the legs have one-way valves to help blood flow back to the heart against the force of gravity.  The blood pushes through the valves as it travels towards the heart and the valve then closes to prevent backward flow.  Walking and movement, such as that done naturally on an anti-fatigue mat, compresses the veins and helps thrust the blood towards the heart.

Anti-fatigue matting is available in many different configurations such as workstation mats, in rolls or as interlocking tiles or modules.  Some options have a solid surface, while others have open holes for drainage, or for trapping swarf and debris.  Investing in effective anti-fatigue mats is a small price to pay for health and safety in the workplace.  If you need advice on which product is most suitable for your location then please call the COBA Europe sales team on 0116 240 1055 or email

Person Sitting

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