We get this question often from employers who are looking for cost-effective ways for reducing foot pain, absenteeism and medical costs for employees who have to stand on their feet all day. After all, there are about as many workers who don’t sit at a desk all day than the sedentary office workers we usually write about.
Large-format 100% polyurethane mats like the Anti-Fatigue Mats in sizes that are four to six feet long have become very popular in environments as diverse as machining and welding shops, assembly factories, restaurants and grocery markets, bank teller and ticket sales windows, retail sales counters, pharmacies, hospitals, research laboratories, and even, ahem, coroner’s examination rooms — and are getting rave reviews from workers who used to suffer greatly from foot pain at the end of a long shift.
It should be noted that along with the large-format mats, small and inexpensive portable standing mats have become equally popular with workers who move around their shops quite a bit, such as auto mechanics.
When it comes to the decision of whether to invest in special shoes for each employee or to install anti-fatigue mats, both, of course, would be best — if the budget allows it. But if not, the mats are probably the better first step, for a number of reasons. First, for many workers shoes can require special fittings and/or orthotics, time to get fitted and to deal with inevitable adjustments, and some workers may have subjective concerns over styles and color.
Second, in a multi-shift environment one mat can serve two or three workers, and solid mats like the Smugdesk, with their lifetime warranties, will last a lot longer than a single pair of shoes.
So based on feedback we’ve received from readers and buyers of these premium anti-fatigue mats for all-day standing workers we’d have to say that the return on investment on them far outshines the ROI on buying several pairs of shoes per year for each worker. And the productivity boost from energized, pain-free workers is an added bonus.