Whether you work in an office setting or a retail/industrial setting chances are that by the end of the day, your body is sore from either sitting too long or standing too long.
In fact, a small study conducted by the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich in Switzerland found that standing 5 or more hours a day contributes “to significant and prolonged lower-limb muscle fatigue.” Prolonged muscle fatigue is not only uncomfortable, it has been linked to an increased risk of long term back pain and musculoskeletal disorders.
Additional research relating to standing worker fatigue and discomfort supports the results of the study in Switzerland and also highlights another key factor of worker discomfort: lost productivity. This study, conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that nearly 77% of lost productive time was explained by reduced performance while at work. In other words, worker discomfort.
As you can see, standing worker discomfort affects all facets of the modern workplace, from physical issues to reduced productivity and increased safety risks for all workers involved. Whether you are a standing worker, a manager or a business owner, these five safety tips will help reduce the effects and risks associated with standing worker fatigue.
Utilize Allotted Breaks
Having an understanding of workplace laws in your state is necessary. By law, a workplace must provide workers with with two 10-15 minute breaks and a lunch over the course of an 8-hour workday. If you stand to work, it is smart to utilize these breaks and take a seat. Your feet, legs and back will thank you. If you have the ability to plan your breaks, you shouldn’t have to stand for more than 3-4 hours at a time.
Don’t test fate, work an 8
Studies have found that the risk for a musculoskeletal injury greatly increases during a long shift due to the effects of muscle fatigue, strains and sprains. If at all possible, try to work an 8-hour shift. If you must work longer, it is important to take regular breaks, especially if you are doing repeatedly manual work.
This may sound funny, but a healthy diet will allow you to naturally keep your energy up and fight off fatigue. Foods rich in potassium, like Bananas, will keep your muscles from cramping. In addition, it is vital to drink water and stay hydrated. This will keep your joints and muscles from seizing and cramping and minimize fatigue.
Treat Your Feet
Keeping your feet happy and healthy will go a long way in reducing standing fatigue. It is not only important to make sure you have the appropriate shoes for the job, but also appropriately fitting shoes. Shoes that are too big, wide, tight or small will increase your chances of experiencing musculoskeletal pain beyond your feet.
Use SmartCells Anti-fatigue Products
SmartCells anti-fatigue products are ergonomically designed and engineered to prevent and reduce pain, including back pain, associated with standing for extended periods of time. The unique SmartCells act like springs that cushion as weight is applied and then rebound when the weight shifts, which returns energy and reduces fatigue.
SATECH’s anti-fatigue products are built with industrial quality and combine features such as beveled edges and stability. The SmartCells line of anti-fatigue rubber mats and runners come with an industry-leading 8-year warranty and are available in three different surface options (smooth, basket weave and carpet top) as well as three colors (Black, gray and light brown) and three sizes (2X3, 3X5 and 24X68).
For those who are simply too mobile for a mat, SATECH also offers two lines of SmartCells insoles. SmartCells® anti-fatigue insoles easily slip into most shoes and come in two styles: a flat style, as well as an Orthotic style.
The SmartCells standard flat style is designed for use with or without orthotics, while the Orthotic styles offer additional arch and heel support, personalized for size and tuned to the nature of the user’s activities.
SmartCells insoles utilize our renowned and trusted SmartCells cushioning technology that is distinguished by the array of “Smart” cells that cushion and absorb force like miniature springs, and are highly responsive to changes in pressure, so that when an individual’s weight is shifted they return their stored energy.
SmartCells anti-fatigue: I feel good!