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Do Anti Fatigue Matting Products Increase Worker Productivity?

The Anti Fatigue Mats Provide Real 'Hard Cost' and 'Soft Cost' Savings

We know that standing workers are less fatigued and feel less discomfort at the end of the day if they stand on Anti Fatigue Mats. These products have been proven time and time again to help workers stop fatigue. To take this one step further, it is logical to assume that comfortable workers will be more productive.

However, until recently, no studies have been conducted to investigate this theory. Driven by our customers desire to justify the purchase of Fatigue Mats, we decided to conduct a long-term study to test that very premise, click here to read our study.

The results show that the use of ergonimic mats in the workplace do improve productivity and also improves morale. Slips and falls are the second most common cause of injuries at work. Cushioned antifatigue matting or ergonomic mats are a low-cost preventive way to reduce muscular cramping, aches and pains in the foot and lower leg. Comfort is an important factor in reducing stress and improving productivity, but fatigue matting also improves workplace safety by greatly reducing the potential for slips and falls. Comfortable and safe working conditions enable workers to be less stressed and more relaxed while working. Employees who stand on hard work surfaces such as concrete, tile, or linoleum for an entire shift often suffer from fatigue and discomfort. This added fatigue will ultimately translate into a loss in productivity over time.

Anti-fatigue matting works by causing you to make natural yet imperceptible flexing of the muscles as your body makes adjustments to keep a balanced position. As your muscles tense and relax, blood and oxygen flow back to the heart, and the buildup of lactic acid, which causes fatigue, is reduced.

In general, employers selecting antislip, anti-fatigue matting should not rely on manufacturer's claims but rather should test selected products on their own floors under real working conditions. You can’t get a good judge of the matting from reading a description. There isn’t a good standard to judge them by either. The best method to decide on the proper anti fatigue matting is to get samples or purchase samples and test them yourself. This will give you a true sense of what the mats can or can’t do.

In summary, anti fatigue floor matting will improve productivity by reducing injury and fatigue in the work place. This will also decrease cost for training new employees. You will need to test the matting for your work conditions to determine the best floor matting for your company and your employees.

The Study:
How Anti Fatigue Matting Affects Productivity

A 1998 study was done at a commercial oven manufacturing company that was experiencing a relatively high accident rate and they were concerned about the increasing rate of absenteeism.

Wearwell®, a manufacturer of ergonomic mats provided their workers with anti fatigue rubber mats for participating in this long-term anti fatigue matting study.

It has been proven and well documented that the use of ergonomic mats reduces standing fatigue, but this study was designed to determine if the use anti fatigue rubber mats could be linked to increased worker productivity.

Faced a high injury rate and a high rate of absenteeism, the company was eager to identify a cause for these increasing problems. On Mondays in particular, absentism would reach as high as 10 percent.

Other Stats:
Number of Employees:

Number of Shifts:


Employee Tenure:

Employee Age:
175 in Manufacturing/ Assembly

Two (2)

Small town (population < 5,000)

Average of four (4) years

Average 41 Mean - 35

How The Testing Worked
Diamond-Plate SpongeCote Anti Fatigue Mat (# 415) was installed in ninety five percent of the facility to ensure there would be no deviation in the results based on the level of comfort. Other specialized areas for spot-welding and arc-welding required special industrial floor mats to fit their specific work conditions.

After filling out the same questionnaire during the year long study, workers responses were compared and the results regarding "Worker Perception" were clear. The workers who participated in the study felt considerably less fatigued before and after work following the installation of anti fatigue mats. Another benefit that was noticed workers experienced greater comfort areas of the body that in the past were problem areas such as legs, feet and lower back.

The decreases in absenteeism and lost time injuries
resulted in a significant gain in productivity.

The results of the worker's perception is significant but even more important was the strong correlation between the use of anti fatigue matting and worker productivity. The company went from a high rate of absentism and lost time due to injuries before the use of anti fatigue mats to an increase in productivity of 2.2 percent after the installation of the mats. Half of that increase in productivity was due to lower rate of absentism. The other 50 percent can be directly linked to the decrease in injuries and the lost time because of injuries.


Cost Savings Related
to the use of these Mats

Increased Productivity
Reduced Insurance Premiums

Total Cost Savings
Hard Costs

*The substantial decrease in absenteeism increased the average daily unit production.
ROI - Return on Investment

The company used for this study recieved sustantial Hard Cost savings as a result of installing anti fatigue floor mats through out the workplace, showing that using anti fatigue mats is an effective way of increasing the bottom line by improving productivity.

In addition, the Human Resources department sited “Soft Cost Savings” related to the use of anti fatigue mats was that the turnover rate dropped significantly, requiring less time and effort spent on hiring and retraining.

Insurance companies calculate these “Soft Costs” by multiplying the Total “Hard” Cost Savings by a multiplier between 2 and 6. Wearwell® chose to be conservative and used the lowest multiplier, ie 2. The calculation for Soft Cost Savings is as follows:

Hard Cost Savings of $360,000.00 x 2 = $720,000.00 Soft Cost Savings

Test Results Summary
Lower rate of Absenteeism:
Increased Productivity:
Total Hard Cost Savings:
Total Soft Cost Savings:
Avg. 23%
2.2% increase
Not all companies have such dramatic results, but virtually all would tell you that anti-fatigue mats make a very positive impact on their employees morale and performance.

In conclusion, the results were clear. Workers had a more favorable perception of work due to an increase in comfort and decrease in stress and body fatigue. There were significant reductions is injuries and absentisms as a result of using anti fatigue matting, thus making a significant impact on productivity and morale.

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Complete listing of Anti-fatigue Matting Products

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