Influence of Inflatable Anti-Fatigue Mats on Joint Discomfort During Prolonged Standing

Publication Date


Document Type



Kinesiology & Recreation


Adam Jagodinsky

Mentor Department

Kinesiology & Recreation


Many workers are exposed to prolonged periods of standing, which has been linked to musculoskeletal pain, discomfort and other serious health conditions. Additionally, standing desks that do not promote regular bouts of movement may also lead to prolonged standing exposures and increase the risk for pain and discomfort. Traditional foam anti-fatigue mats have been shown to mitigate factors associated with pain and discomfort. However, the specific relationship between inflatable standing mats and how they effect discomfort levels as opposed to traditional standing mats have not been previously explored. PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of inflatable anti-fatigue mats on intrasubject discomfort scores during prolonged standing compared to foam mat and hard surface conditions. METHODS: 18 healthy individuals (Ht: 1.77±0.11m, Wt: 79.41±19.60kg, Age: 20.5±1.6yrs) stood for one hour on one of three floor conditions: Inflatable mat (IM, 3psi), foam mat (FM; EVA foam, 16mm), and hard surface (HS; force platform). Participants were instructed to stand normally at a standing desk and perform office work tasks with their feet inside the dimensions of the force platform. Subjects were asked to complete a whole-body discomfort survey prior to the test then again after the test. This survey asked subjects to rate their level of discomfort on a scale of 0 (no pain) to 10 (greatest pain imaginable).prior to the test and then again after the test concludes. Scores were obtained for the extremities and trunk. RESULTS: Results showed no significance in discomfort scores between mat conditions. However, across all conditions there was a significant pre-post mean discomfort difference in the Neck (p=.005), Hips (p=.001), Low Back (p=.001), Knees (p=.001), and Ankles (p<.001). CONCLUSION: The results reveal that inflatable anti-fatigue mats plays no significant role in affecting discomfort amongst subjects as compared to a control or traditional anti-fatigue standing mats. However, pre-post differences in discomfort scores for several body regions were noted. Further research is needed to investigate the relationship between the biomechanical and physiological variables that attribute to the discomfort rating of the subjects during prolonged standing to better understand the efficacy of the mats.



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