The vast majority of employees in the UK are required to stay on their feet for most of the day. When their shift ends, a lot of people experience persistent and recurring muscle pain as a result of prolonged hours of standing.

As one of the leading causes of physical fatigue in the workplace, this can lead to serious health problems such as joint problems, varicose veins, swollen feet and legs and heart and circulatory problems. While this work habit is hard to avoid, there are ways in which you can alleviate the adverse effects.

Scientific Research - How to Reduce Fatigue in the Workplace

The Director of the Biomedical Laboratory of Reims University, Prof. Redha Taiar, conducted a study that proposed the use of anti-fatigue mats as the solution to the negative impact of standing for long hours.

The research involved studying the upright position of the human body and how it naturally adjusts to maintain balance. It also analysed the pressure points of the feet when standing.

What Causes Physical Fatigue?

The study was able to identify two causes of physical fatigue – the ‘Cinderella’ fibres and imbalance.

Cinderella Fibres

When standing, we use the same muscles that are required to efficiently perform our duties. Being in a prolonged upright position trains our muscles, turning the whole process into an automatic system - the muscular functioning is recorded by the brain and is thereafter consistently applied.

These muscular fibres are called ‘Cinderella Fibres’ because of their ability to do their job, even when they are exhausted.


Our balance is impeded when we stand for long periods of time; because our weight is not evenly distributed, there is an increased pressure on our back and spine which further leads to joint pains.

Findings of the Study

Prof. Taiar concluded that by using anti-fatigue mats, it is possible to correct balance and distribute pressure evenly between the right and left leg. The study also revealed that due to the mat’s soft surface, it can efficiently restore a 50/50 overall balance; that can substantially reduce physical fatigue.

How do Anti-Fatigue Mats Work?

Anti-fatigue mats are designed to promote blood flow; the cushion provided by anti-fatigue matting minimises blood pooling in the legs – the cause of muscle and joint pains.

One of the workers that participated in the study reported, “After the day ends, there is less fatigue in the legs, as well as less muscular and articular troubles. There is better absorption of the weight.”


Small changes in the workplace, such as the addition of anti-fatigue mats, can help to increase your employees’ comfort and performance! Coruba has a wide selection of high quality anti-fatigue mats that are ideal for commercial and industrial purposes. With all your enquiries, please call 01702 811 623.