The Circulatory System
An expanding body of research exists which addresses standing work positions and the potential damage. The
general conclusion of this research is that floor mats are an important element in injury prevention efforts.
Blood flows from the heart through the arteries to the extremities. When you walk, it is pumped back through the veins by the interaction between muscles and veins. This mechanism is commonly referred to as the venous pump. When you stand, gravity will make fluids settle in feet and legs and because of the reduced muscle activity, the venous pump is less effective. This causes increased pressure on the walls of the veins, which leads to long-term damage and swelling which causes pain and discomfort.
How the Venous Pump Works
Figure 1 shows a muscle (in red) at rest next to a vein. Flapper valves in the vein allow blood to flow up from below but not down from above (illustrated by the arrows). In Figure 2, the muscle contracts and exerts pressure on the side of the vein. This causes blood to flow up through the valve above while the valve below remains closed ensuring proper circulation towards the heart
Research on anti-fatigue mat
A new study at England’s Loughborough University confirms that anti-fatigue mats can have a significant, beneficial impact on the health of workers who must stand for long periods of time.
The study also concluded that the use of anti-fatigue mats – mats designed to reduce stresses on the feet and leg when standing for long periods – can help prevent many of these health concerns.
“In fact, the researchers reported ‘statistically significant benefits’ were noted when subjects stood on anti-fatigue mats,” adds Boston.
So why we need mat?
Prolonged standing on a hard surface will lead to damaged veins. This damage occurs as pressure inside the veins builds up and expands the sides of the veins. As the years go by, the vein becomes permanently expanded and the flaps that make up the valves are no longer able to reach together.
Anti-fatigue mats are designed to reduce tiredness and stress on the feet, legs, and lower back for workers who stand in one position for long periods of time (e.g. an entire 8-hour shift).
While anti-fatigue mats can help reduce weariness, no single solution can eliminate it – even sitting or lying down for extended periods needs a break!
Scientific studies show that standing for long stretches of time is particularly stressful and fatiguing, especially if it’s in a static position. Regardless of the quality of shoes and quality of the flooring underfoot, simply standing causes tiredness after an entire workday on a level comparable to exercise!
How Standing For Work Will Affect You
Naturally you are constantly moving all day. Your muscle contractions make sure your blood is circulating through your body.
When you use your muscles to keep standing, there’s only really one long muscle contraction and it puts your muscles under strain. This means your blood doesn’t pump back to your heart efficiently.
Here’s the scientific bit:
Recently, professors from Loughborough University did a study commissioned by our main anti-fatigue matting supplier.
It looked in to the affects of fatigue from standing for work.
They found it only took 90 minutes of standing on a concrete floor until fatigue set in.
People complained of serious discomfort to their feet, legs and back,
and stiffness to the neck and shoulders.
There was also a major decrease of inability to concentrate after 50 minutes of standing.
If you stand for work, without the right solutions in place you’ll first start to experience
common symptoms such as tiredness, with aching and fatigue to your legs. After this
your feet may become affected and swell up.
This is caused by stressed body tissue from the prolonged standing. If ignored, your feet
could develop chronic inflammation, causing scar tissue to form and in turn force changes
to your bone structure. You could also develop varicose veins and heart problems due to
the increased pressure on them from the restricted circulation.
THE BENEFITS OF ANTI-FATIGUE MATS
Ergonomic mats are scientifically designed to:
Reduce lower back pain
By relieving pressure on the spine
By reducing strain on muscles in the back
Promote good posture
By stimulating cyclic muscle contractions for better blood circulation
Prevent stiffness in your joints
By making natural, frequent minor changes to your standing position
By easing tension in your shoulders and neck
Reduce energy consumption
By relieving tension & supporting muscles
Reduces foot pressure
Through the cushioned rubber
By improving concentration
By reducing accident potential
Anti-fatigue mats were developed specifically to solve the problems of short-term fatigue and long-term injury associated with standing work positions.
Our product line represents the most advanced technology for this purpose available in the marketplace today.
By providing an elastic surface to stand on, an stimulates muscle activity in feet and legs. As described above, this is important for the proper function of the venous pump and hence for the prevention of fatigue and injury.
This thermal photograph compares circulation in the lower body of a standing worker. The image on the right shows the worker standing on an anti-fatigue.
Red and yellow tones indicate higher skin temperatures resulting from stimulated muscle activity and hence circulation in the legs and feet, promoted by the anti-fatigue mat's unique elastic properties.
The image on the left shows circulation patterns without the anti-fatigue. Blues and greens in this image are evidence of poor circulation, a reliable predictor of fatigue and muscle disorders.