In this article we put up some questions and also give answers based on our knowledge and experience with mats.
How to evaluate an anti-fatigue mat.
Has it been optimised for softness, hardness or antislip? Each aspect has a different efffect when a mat is used to provide anti fatigue protection.
Let’s fact it, a mat that is too soft can cause fatigue – maybe not too different from trying to stand on a pillow all day…makes you tired even thinking about it.
We also note that mats that are over soft tend to wear out quicker, unless they have the inclusion of abrasive resistant formula extending wear life.
How thick should anti fatigue mats be?
Some people ask for very thin/slim anti -fatigue mats. Well, let’s face it just can’t happen. You need at least 13mm minimum to create some form of anti-fatigue mat that is going to equalise the weight and pressure from the ball and heel of your foot where soreness starts to spread to other areas of the foot.
Once you get up to 19mm the mat gives the mind some form of instability and feel insecure to some while standing on it for periods of time. An anti fatigue being 19mm thick can get a bit too squishy and in turn actually starts to fatigue leg muscles by over working them to keep your balance.
What is the Shore Hardness for anti fatigue mats?
Most foam type rubber mats have a shore C hardness of around 25 – 30 often used in play rooms and small gyms through to soft Gel type mat,s with a very low Shore hardness C value. Some anti-fatigue mats have a shore hardness value of around 7 – 11. This is ok if you are looking for a very soft gel type mat to put your cold feet onto on a hard kitchen floor.
A low Shore C rating won’t give much support to the foot while in use, giving you the impression it’s a lazy mat. Whereas the optimum Shore hardness C for an anti-fatigue mat is between 15 – 18. This gives premium support while evenly distributing the weight of your body across the entire foot.
This, in turn, improves circulation and decreases pain signals the body is sending to the brain providing an ideal workplace for any employee.
Please explain Shore Hardness in relation to mats.
Industry rates Shore Hardness values in three different ways to measure the hardness of rubber matting. The three different types help users evaluate where they fit and come to a common reference point in industry. These values can be used in quality control to implement and ensure consistency of the product being used.
Shore A is a measurement of hardness of moulded flexible rubber from being very soft and flexible to almost hard and no flexibility. Semi rigid rubbers would measure on the high end of Shore A. For reference a standard rubber car tyre would have a close approximate Shore A hardness of 70.
Shore C is more of a hybrid for measuring the hardness and the density of specific outcomes used in ergonomics.
Shore D is another scale which measures the hardness of more medium to rigid rubbers and plastics.
This article is offered as a guideline to industry who are wanting to know what the different Shore Hardness values represent. To determine your exact suitability always refer to technical data sheets.
For more information, contact us.