Workplace Comfort: Mats, Tiles, & More

Tips for Improving Office Ergonomics with Workplace MatsSmart business owners understand that comfort is not a luxury. Rather, it is a fundamental driver that builds employee happiness, productivity, safety, and innovation. Without feelings of safety and security, businesses cannot hope to foster a company culture that thrives.

Alarmingly, billions of dollars are lost each year by American businesses that fail to invest in employee safety and comfort. To see how look no further than the 2010 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. In it, the American insurance company draws data from worker’s compensation claims and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to categorize the main causes of non-fatal employee injury. In 2008, overexertion was the primary cause of workplace accident, totaling a whopping $14.2 billion in total costs.

Can overexertion be prevented? Perhaps. Below, we examine ways businesses can make workplaces a safer and more comfortable place, without incurring major expenses.

What are comfort mats?

Comfort mat is just another name for an anti-fatigue mat. At their core, these mats feature a thick layer of commercial grade rubber (most often Nitrile). Surrounding the core, however, are layers of softer rubber that compress when you walk or stand on them. This gives comfort mats a unique “squishy” feel.

Comfort mats derive their anti-fatigue properties from the layered construction described above. Because they compress underfoot, the muscles of the lower body and core must actively contract to maintain stability. Standing on anti-fatigue comfort mats does not impair balance, however. Muscle activity is very subtle, and one notices little more than a gentle compression underfoot.

Because comfort matting triggers muscle activity, a number of physiological changes occur that improve the feeling of comfort and well-being. First, blood is more efficiently circulated throughout the feet, legs, and lower back. This decreases feelings of fatigue and tension that would otherwise build throughout the day. Additional benefits of fatigue-fighting comfort mats are listed below.

Benefits of comfort mats

Comfort mats also called “soft floor mats,” deliver the following key benefits:

Reduced fatigue. As described above, these mats reduce feelings of fatigue and muscle tension.

Floor protection. As a thick and layered commercial-strength mat, these products provide exceptional floor protection for tile, hardwood, granite, concrete, and other surfaces.

Provides drainage. Many comfort mats are available with slots and drainage holes. These items are particularly popular in areas where employees stand for long periods of time and liquid spills occur frequently (see below).

Better traction. As a floor mat, comfort mats also provide enhanced traction on floor surfaces that might otherwise be smooth, slippery, and dangerous. Comfort matting is also available with textured surfaces to provide even more grip. One of the most popular is the diamond plate surface texture.

Easy to move and clean. Comfort mats are easy to move, clean, and maintain.

When should I choose anti-fatigue tiles

Anti-fatigue floor tiles are another “comfort” option. If you’re having difficulty determining whether mats or tiles are appropriate for your installation, consider the following:

  1. To cover large or irregularly shaped floor spaces, use anti-fatigue comfort tiles. Tiles can be pieced together seamlessly to provide floor protection as well as anti-fatigue benefits.
  2. Comfort floor tiles are also great in manufacturing facilities, locker rooms, along with assembly lines, in kitchens, and behind bars.
  3. Like comfort mats, anti-fatigue floor tiles are available with drainage holes/slots to facilitate liquid debris management.
Mat Consultation for Maryland, Washington D.C., & Northern Virginia

Eagle Mat and Floor Products proudly represents more than 3 decades of commercial matting sales and consultation in the Maryland, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia areas. We are pleased to discuss your needs, and for local businesses, our team is available to assist in providing samples and product consultation.

National customers are invited to shop commercial floor mats online and call customer service at 1-877-333-1018 for additional assistance.

For more on the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, visit the Liberty Mutual Institute for Safety online.