The Technology Behind Anti-Fatigue Mats

by Chris Martin on May 9, 2013

People have different images of technology. Some think of sleek gadgets like talking alarm clocks and individual serving coffeemakers. Others envision electronic devices like smartphones and digital music players. There are those who call to mind weirdly-shaped objects like segways and sleep pods. Almost no one views technology as a flat, neutral-colored floor mat.

But that’s exactly what an anti-fatigue mat is: A breakthrough in workplace ergonomics technology. Though they may not have any visible buzzers or whistles, these mats are so advanced that they can actually prevent fatigue from occurring  and thereby increase worker productivity and safety.

What They’re Made Of

The innovation of anti-fatigue mats starts with their material: High-quality nitrile rubber. Its two main components, acrylonitrile and butadiene, are emulsified www.medicine20.org in water before being polymerized into a type of rubber that is stronger, less permeable to gases, and more resistant to swelling from hydrocarbon oils. Sometimes, additional PVC material is included to increase the anti-fatigue mats’ cushioning ability or an antimicrobial compound might be added to reduce the odds of bacteria, mold, or mildew growing on the mat.

How They Work

These high-tech materials are fashioned in such a way to maximize the comfort of the individual standing atop the mat. Think of each anti-fatigue mat as being comprised of thousands of tiny little “springs.” When no one is on the mat, these springs are uncoiled, but when pressure is applied to them, the springs coil up and spread out to provide optimum cushion for the worker. Then as the force is reduced, the energy is transferred to the feet, legs, and body of the person.

This entire process works to drastically reduce the amount of fatigue often caused by standing for prolonged periods. The key is to find a level of firmness which is unstable enough to facilitate very subtle changes in posture without being too soft to where the muscles have to work excessively hard to maintain stability. When this equilibrium is reached, the person’s muscles constantly expand and contract ever so slightly, which facilitates blood flow through the muscles and tissues of the body. It is the absence of this blood flow caused by rigid, stiff muscles which leads to fatigue, discomfort, and pain.

What are the Results?

A growing body of research is revealing the positive effects on companies who use anti-fatigue mats. Since fatigue opens the door for a host of medical conditions, reducing fatigue keeps workers healthier, which is demonstrated by decreases in absenteeism rates. In addition, workers who are fatigue-free do their job more efficiently and accurately, a point which is illustrated through increased productivity rates. Finally, healthy workers file fewer workers compensation claims, which saves an employer a great deal in payouts and expenses for ailing workers and these funds can be put to better use in the business.

Ultimate Mats offers an impressive line of anti-fatigue mats depending on your business needs.The Ortho I is the top antimicrobial anti-fatigue mat in the world, and can be used in a wide range of applications. The Hog Heaven mat, offered in 5/8″ or 7/8″ versions, provides extra cushioning in wet or dry workplace areas. They all come in several color and size choices with discounts on bulk orders available. If your business is in need of one or more anti-fatigue mats, why not give Ultimate Mats a call today? They’ll show you anti-fatigue mats that are on the leading edge of workplace technology!

Image credits: Ultimate Mats

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