Anti-Fatigue Mats and Orthopedics

by Chris Martin on December 24, 2013

Orthopedics is the field of medicine which oversees and treats the human musculoskeletal system, which is made up of the body’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and nerves. People who work in the orthopedic field try to repair tears or trauma to these parts of the body through surgery, medication, and/or physical therapy. Athletes, accident victims, and elderly people are just a few of the groups of people who rely on the expertise and knowledge of orthopedic professionals.

In recent years, experts have focused on workplace safety and ergonomics as a means to preventing many types of on-the-job orthopedic injuries. Much of this field of study concentrates on occupations that require heavy lifting, carrying bulky materials, reaching or twisting, driving for hours on end, or performing repetitive motions like typing. What’s often overlooked are the jobs which simply involve standing in one place.

Only recently have medical experts started to document the negative effects of standing for long periods of time. Being on your feet on a hard surface like concrete, tile, or wood all day long can cause physical fatigue. Over time, this fatigue can take its toll on the body in ways that an orthopedic professional would recognize. Some of these include:

  • Aching and sore muscles
  • Poor posture, which can lead to spinal problems
  • Swollen feet, legs, and ankles
  • Varicose veins
  • Planter fascitis, or inflammation of the tissue on the sole of the foot
  • Tendinitis in the legs or knees
  • Knee joint problems
  • Low back pain or discomfort
  • Stiffness or aches in the neck and shoulders
  • Increased risk (or exacerbation) of arthritis, especially in the hip and knee

That said, orthopedic professionals would be among the first to tell you that anti-fatigue mats can mitigate or eliminate these conditions in workers who stand for a long time. How do they do that?

In individuals who are on their feet for hours, fatigue is caused by a lack of blood flow to the joints and muscles. As muscles remain rigid in order to support the body, the blood vessels actually constrict, thus allowing less blood to reach various parts of the body. Less blood flow means more fatigue in the short-term, and possibly one or more of the above mentioned conditions in the long-term.

Anti-fatigue mats combat this problem by forcing the body to maintain its balance by making constant “microadjustments,” or movements that are so subtle that people don’t even realize that they’re making them. These microadjustments are enough to keep the body moving so that the blood continues to flow unimpeded throughout the body, thus preventing fatigue and its deleterious effects.

Therefore, investing in one or more anti-fatigue mats for your employees will help them remain healthy and alert throughout the workday, which in turn will reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, and decrease worker’s compensation costs for your business. Ultimate Mats has several anti-fatigue mats to choose from in different sizes and colors. Visit Ultimate Mats’ website today and you may possibly avoid employee visits to the orthopedic doctor tomorrow.

 

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