Whether you work in an office, retail or warehouse environment, chances are you have experienced musculoskeletal pain on the job. Often in retail and warehouse settings, workers experience pain and loss of productivity due to pain associated with prolonged standing.
While office workers often experience musculoskeletal pain due to prolonged sitting, a new trend in offices is to utilize a standing desk. Sure, standing desks relieve pain from sitting, but it can also cause pain from standing for prolonged periods of time.
As-if experiencing musculoskeletal pain isn’t enough, the loss of productivity and financial burdens brought on can be debilitating. According to data collected by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, the direct cost of a musculoskeletal claim is $5,625. Based on projections made by Liberty Mutual the total cost (indirect and direct) for a claim can rise up to $33,750.
Considering how fast expenses accrue when dealing with musculoskeletal injuries, it is easy to see why acquiring an optimized anti-fatigue mat is a good investment.
This blog has attempted to answer the essential questions one should ask before buying an anti-fatigue mat. So far we have discussed compressibility, and having an adequate balance between instability and stability in an anti-fatigue mat. The next question is:
Does the surface resist bottoming out?
Many “so-called” anti-fatigue mats are made of a material that feels soft and squishy when very little pressure / force is applied (mostly foam). Since foam can break down easily, and compresses so easily, it can easily bottom out, rendering it ineffective as an anti-fatigue intervention. To counter this many foam mats are marketed as the “thickest”, the “plushest” or the “most buoyant”, as they get thicker and thicker. The downside, as discussed in our earlier blog is that the thicker they get, the less stable they are, much like standing on a mattress, and can actually increase fatigue from standing, and possibly cause injuries and create tripping hazards.
A mat tends to bottom out if there is an imbalance between its compressibility and its height. A mat that is overly soft acts like it bottoms out as the material compresses too easily. A mat that is not thick enough may bottom out even if it has the right compressibility. This balance between thickness and compressibility is often referred to as ‘densification strain’. As a general rule of thumb if a material compresses more than about 50% of its thickness, it tends to act as though it is bottomed out.
A standing surface that has been optimized to reduce fatigue and injuries and increase productivity will have critical elements that work in concert: Compressibility that is not too soft, combined with support that allows stability and instability, combined with the appropriate height that will not allow bottoming out. Next up: responsiveness.
Through years of careful development based on valid third-party research, SATECH’s SmartCells™ cushioning technology has been ergonomically engineered to resist bottoming out without being too soft, and provides an optimized balance of stability and instability.
The unique SmartCells™ cushioning technology will provide comfort for anyone who stands for extended periods of time. The SmartCells™ cushioning technology consists of a rubber surface layer integrated with an underlying array of cylindrical rubber cells that soften in response to surface pressure to provide maximum fatigue relief. The SmartCells act like springs that cushion as weight is applied and then rebound when the weight shifts, which returns energy, providing unparalleled responsiveness that helps reduce standing fatigue.
SmartCells™ Cushioning Technology: It’s not how the mat feels, it’s how YOU feel.
-By Lincoln Hollis