There are many common issues related to the modern workplace. Whether it is lower back pain, stiff necks, or sore feet, sitting or standing for long hours can result in aches and pains. In response, offices have adapted ergonomically designed furniture and other accentuating pieces such as anti-fatigue mats, also known as comfort mats. Since their introduction, anti-fatigue mats have become a key accessory in homes, keeping comfort underfoot in home offices, kitchens, laundry rooms and more.
Do anti-fatigue mats actually work?
Anti-fatigue floor mats have been proven to reduce aches and back pains experienced by people whose jobs demand they stand for long hours on hard surfaces. These mats consist of different materials such as vinyl, timber, or rubber for the outer casing. The mat is filled with a single or double foam or gel to absorb shock.
Anti-fatigue mats bring “healthy imbalance” necessary for micro-movements of small muscles in the calves and feet, which improves blood and oxygen circulation, consequently minimizing tiredness.
How do anti-fatigue mats work?
When we stand for long hours, blood flows down to the lower abdomen and the lower limb area, causing fatigue.
Another cause of fatigue relates to the imbalance between your feet. You tend to lean more on either the left or the right leg. Standing for a long duration of time can create pressure in the spinal column, causing fatigue and joint pain.
To remedy this, anti-fatigue mats use a double foam or the gel casing to create an undetectable sway. As a response, your body will unconsciously shift in the reaction using the small muscles in the feet. This will increase blood and oxygen circulation to the feet.
The soft foam not only distributes the pressure evenly but also cushions your feet from the hard concrete floor, effectively reducing spinal stress. They can even provide more stability when placed on carpeting or rugs.
The best anti-fatigue mats and comfort mats
The best anti-fatigue mat is an individual preference depending on its requirements and applications. Each material is unique to suit the workplace, including kitchens, standing desks, or heavy machine industries. Various needs will call for different materials, quality, intensity and price.
Foam anti-fatigue mats
Foam anti-fatigue mats are the most popular for the home. homes. They consist of a colorful and textured outer casing filled with a single or double layer of foam. Foam mats can fit almost anywhere in the house, especially in laundry rooms, kitchens, and workshops, and are suitable for accentuating your rugs.
Foam rubber anti-fatigue mats
Another option is a foam rubber anti-fatigue mat. As the name suggests they consist of rubber-coated foam, which makes them suitable for harsher environments such as workshops. The combination of rubber and foam produces a higher density. This increases its resilience meaning you can use the mat for longer without losing its shape and comfort.
Rubber mats often have a textured design that triggers frequent foot movement while delivering a bit of comfort. They can also cushion your feet from the cold hard concrete floor, making it ideal for workshops.
Hard rubber anti-fatigue mats
Hard rubber anti-fatigue mats offer a mix of long life and increased comfort than other mats. They are resistant to wear and tear and are waterproof. Due to these pressure-resistant qualities, hard rubber anti-fatigue mats are easy to clean and suitable for extreme work environments.
Some manufacturers offer hard rubber anti-fatigue mats with multiple layers capable of resisting chemical, solvent, and other liquid spills. The hard outer casing provides exceptional resistance against fire, welding accidents, or any other industrial accidents.
Gel anti-fatigue mats
Gel anti-fatigue mats have a hard outer covering such as vinyl that is filled with pressure-absorbing gel. These are ideal for standing work desks, office spaces, your kitchen and even the laundry room. Any area where you find yourself standing for a substantial amount of time can benefit from an anti-fatigue mat.
Characteristics of the best anti-fatigue mats
Before running to the store or ordering one online, you should first understand what characterizes the best anti-fatigue mats or comfort mats. This will help you determine which type of anti-fatigue mat is perfect for your situation.
Choose a mat that is suitable for your physical size or weight. All anti-fatigue mats are of good quality but support different weights. Be sure to consider what is suitable for your situation that can bear that pressure without losing its composure or anti-fatigue properties.
An excellent anti-fatigue mat should provide balance while being responsive at the same time. A good anti-fatigue mat boosts blood circulation by triggering subtle changes to the small muscles. Rubber mats are often textured to encourage movement and are easy to clean. A resilient mat should bounce back to its original shape when you remove your foot.
Safety is key, both at home and in the workplace. Choose a mat that fits perfectly on your floor or under your work stand desk. The best anti-fatigue mats feature stylish slanting edges for secure movements on and off the mat. Anti-fatigue mats for slippery places offer a textured surface to lower trip and slip hazards by increasing traction.
You can secure a small, lightweight anti-fatigue mat into its place using double-sided rug tape if it doesn’t fit perfectly.
An anti-fatigue mat should be at least half an inch to one inch thick. Keep in mind thicker mats can trip you so you should look for ones with wide tapered edges. The wider the taper, the safer the mat. Balance is important to avoid fatigue and pain which means a thicker mat can do more harm than good.
Finding the best anti-fatigue or comfort mat for you
The best anti-fatigue mats will increase blood and oxygen flow to your feet through subtle muscle movements, effectively reducing lower back pains and numbness. With their variety of styles, designs, and compositions there is one perfect for your situation. To get an idea of what is out there, look at our mats section.