Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat Buying Guide

What are anti-fatigue mats?

Anti-fatigue mats are mats designed to reduce fatigue caused by standing for long periods on a hard surface (e.g., cement floors). Fatigue-reducing mats can be made of various materials including rubber, carpeting materials, vinyl, and wood.

Why should I use anti-fatigue mats?

Anti-fatigue mats are often used to decrease foot and lower limb disorders for workers who stand in one position for long periods. However, providing a mat may not solve the entire problem. Discomfort, tiredness, and sore feet, legs, knees or hips after long hours of standing are the combined effect of several factors, namely the design of the work, the workers' footwear, and the flooring material. According to scientific data, standing for long periods of time is particularly stressful and fatiguing. Regardless of the quality of shoes and quality of the floor covering, standing itself can cause tiredness after an entire working day.

When should I use anti-fatigue mats?

Anti-fatigue matting is one way to alleviate foot discomfort when standing for extended periods on hard (concrete) surfaces. Anti-fatigue mats absorb the shock due to walking and this cushioning effect reduces foot fatigue. However, the use of matting requires caution because mats can lead to tripping and falling accidents when installed improperly.

Another type of floor covering, namely, anti-slip matting, is useful in increasing foot comfort and safety. However, workers may find that their feet burn and feel sore, because the non-slip properties of anti-slip matting cause their shoes to grab suddenly on the flooring, making their feet slide forward inside the shoes. Friction inside the shoes produces heat which creates soreness. Non-slip resilient insoles can reduce this discomfort.

What anti-fatigue mat should I use?

There are many types of mats that are sold as "anti-fatigue" mats. When choosing a mat, consider the following:

  • Know the purpose of the mat. Anti-slip or other mats are not the same as anti-fatigue mats. Choose a mat that matches your needs best.
  • The thickness of the mat. Softer and thicker may not always be better. Choose a mat that provides some elasticity, but at the same time is not so soft that a person feels they cannot stand comfortably.
  • Know the environment the mat will be used in
    • Mats should not slip, or create a trip hazard.
    • Mats should have sloped edges (sloped edges are less of a trip hazard, and allows carts to roll over them more easily)
    • Mats may need to be cleaned. In some areas, such as food preparation, being able to adequately clean the mats will be important.
If you need help finding the right floor mats for your office or warehouse, Contact one of our product specialists by email or call toll-free at 1-855-373-7225.

Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety