If you have stood for a long time in a line or during a subway or bus ride, you would know first-hand that standing for a long time is just no fun! After a point, the soles of the feet and calves start aching, and standing becomes uncomfortable. That’s when you start to shift your weight from one foot to another to bring some relief.
Standing for long periods of time is uncomfortable and to be avoided as far as possible. And yet, there are employees in your firm, stores, or workshops who have to endure that discomfort as part of their jobs. While we understand that standing, and the resultant discomfort, may be an unavoidable occupational hazard, we are also going to show you ways in which you can improve the working conditions for your employees.
When employees are uncomfortable, they are distracted from putting in their best efforts on the job. It’s just natural and human. By easing their discomfort, not only will you be caring for their wellbeing but will also boost their productivity, which works positively for your business.
In what way does prolonged standing affect your body?
When you work standing in one position for long periods of time, without taking breaks and walking around a bit, blood pools in your legs and feet and causes muscle strain. You end up with sore feet, swollen legs, varicose veins, overall muscle fatigue, lower back pain, and a stiff neck and shoulders. Prolonged and excessive standing also temporarily immobilizes joints in the spine, hips, knees, and feet, causing them to be locked. This seemingly harmless temporary immobility could later lead to rheumatic diseases that are caused by progressive damage to the tendons and ligaments.
Who is at risk or most affected?
Salespersons, customer care executives at retail outlets, machine operators, assembly-line workers, kitchen staff in restaurants, and others whose jobs require standing for long periods of time.
What can you do as an employer?
As an employer, you should provide the best possible work conditions to your standing workers. It is the responsibility of every organization and company to regularly assess the workplace to determine hazards, to catch violations, and to protect the safety and wellbeing of employees. Here some practices you should adopt if your business and workplace require any employee to stand for the better part of the day.
- The right footwear: Educate your employees about the correct footwear for their job and encourage them to wear it. Shoes should have adequate and appropriate arch and heel support and cushioning. They should also be comfortable.
- Make changes in working position: Consider adding some seating—chair, sit/stand stool—and a footrest to the workstation. This will give employees a choice to sit when they feel fatigued.
- Install the right flooring: The right type of flooring will be comfortable for employees to stand on. Hard floors such as concrete floors are very uncomfortable to walk or work on, especially if the work involves long hours of standing. Invest in mats and flooring that cushion feet, are comfortable to stand on, and reduce foot fatigue.
What are anti-fatigue mats and when should they be used?
Anti fatigue mats take the pain and discomfort out of long hours of standing on hard and uncomfortable floors. As we said earlier, the right flooring and mats will cushion employees’ feet and will help prevent pain, fatigue, and discomfort. Floor covering made from rubber, cork, wood, or carpet are soft and gentle on feet. A less expensive but more effective alternative is anti-fatigue mats. These mats can be used on the exact spots where employees will be standing. They can be carried around as needed. They are easier to maintain and clean. But perhaps their most important benefit is that they are specifically created to reduce and prevent foot, leg, and back fatigue, discomfort, and pain that comes from standing for long on hard and uncomfortable surfaces.
Anti-fatigue mats are made from materials such as rubber, vinyl, wood, and carpet. They have a cushioned top surface that encourages leg and calf muscle movement. This keeps the blood circulating properly and reduces foot fatigue.
Mat Supplier Group stocks a wide range of top anti fatigue mats for different commercial uses. Our anti fatigue mats fall into 3 broad categories:
Dura Flex 120 Comfort Drain Runner Matting and CM Viper Drain Through Mats are great for kitchens because of superior drainage that allows oil and fluid spills of all kind to drain off the mat surface, leaving it clean and reducing slipping hazards. If you need something tougher but also more flexible then Dura Flex 150 Comfort Stand Interlocking Anti Fatigue Mats are the right choice for you.
Warehouses and industrial environments see chemicals, grease, and other fluids used —and spilled—regularly. Anti fatigue mats for such environments need to be tougher to withstand these conditions. We stock a range of heavy duty, long-lasting antifatigue mats for industrial and warehouse use—Ultra Tread Anti Fatigue Matting, Ultra Tread Safety Anti Fatigue Mats, Comfort Tread Anti Fatigue Mats, Fatigue Fighter II Anti Fatigue Mats, Super Cushion Anti Fatigue Mats, Viper Narrow Rib Rubber Matting, and Viper Wide Rib Rubber Matting.
We hope this post has helped you understand the physiognomy of foot and leg fatigue that your employees experience due to long hours of standing. We also hope that we were able to help you understand the importance of anti-fatigue comfort mats at work, so employees are comfortable, and productivity is not affected.
Apart from anti fatigue mats, we also stock a wide range for commercial and specialty mats for businesses. Check out https://matsupplier.com to discover mats and flooring that you have been looking for but didn’t know where to find.