In anyone’s shoes, standing for a whole working day can get uncomfortable, whether that’s 4hrs, 8hrs or longer. Our bodies are built for movement and not to remain in one position. So, standing on a hard floor over long periods undoubtedly causes suffering, not to mention the risk of long-term health issues.
It stands to reason that by adding any cushion between your feet and the ground will improve comfort. A sturdy and well fitted pair of shoes goes a long way to protecting the feet and body from the effects of standing, but even the softest or high-tech shoes will quickly stop offering comfort.
Anti-fatigue mats come in many different materials, thicknesses and textures, but by providing the feet with any flexible resistance, goes a long way to reducing strain, and increasing movement and blood flow – both recognised as providing the user with a more comfortable working environment.
Standing more safely
The long-term health implications of standing all day are starting to become more well publicised, thanks in part to those at the opposite end of the spectrum, people who sit all day instead. Some people say that ‘sitting is the new smoking’, due to the impact on the body’s circulatory system. And this real-world risk that faces millions of office workers globally, has raised the subject of ergonomics more generally in the public sphere.
Whilst standing gets the body up and moving, it also shifts weight on to other areas. Suddenly the legs and feet are being asked to support the body’s weight for extended periods. Whilst this is probably much easier for the young, light or super fit – most people are likely to face risks from extended periods standing as they are sitting.
The benefits of anti fatigue mats are now well explained, but in short, they can go a long way to reducing the risk for those that have to stand as part of their job.
Many research studies have shown that the cost of health issues from standing are not only a burden on the employee, but also the employer. What starts of as an ache or twinge can soon end up in a full blown bad back or knee complaint, resulting in days or weeks away from the workplace for recuperation.
By conducting a standing safety survey of your workplace, you may be able to identify high risk areas and prevent an issue before it occurs. And if a business can reduce the number of sick days its staff have, then the benefits will be seen on the bottom line.