Two professors at Loughborough University, George Havenith and Lucy Dorman, conducted a study of anti-fatigue mats in a special laboratory created for the test. They published the results earlier this summer.
The study involved 14 participants who were instructed to arrive at the laboratory for the tests at the same time each day. They were asked to stand on a concrete floor (no-mat condition) or on anti-fatigue mats (mat condition) for 90-minute sessions over a 5-day period.
The researchers used a variety of methods to measure any pain, discomfort, tiredness and fatigue that might develop after standing for prolonged periods; these included infrared thermal imaging, body temperature sensors placed on the participants, and infrared photographs. Participants also filled out a questionnaire after each session.
“This is similar to other research conducted on this subject,” says JoAnne Boston, business development manager for Crown Mats.
After evaluating the results, the researchers found that standing for the 90-minute periods caused serious discomfort to the feet, legs and back of the study participants. The researchers also found it caused stiffness to the neck and shoulders.
“Other studies have gone a step further and found that standing for periods longer than 90 minutes can result in even more serious conditions such as circulatory problems that can, in some cases, be irreversible,” adds Boston.
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.