We have a client whose employees provide customer service at counters. Employees have the option to sit or stand and have high stools at each work station (Leap chair with footring). The stools have casters and sit on a standard grade carpet. Anti-fatigue mats are also available. The problem that has arisen occurs when an individual wants to stand and use the anti-fatigue mat and tries to move the chair out of the way – resistance from the mat. Employees wear the full range of standard footwear seen in office environments, although not likely 4" heels…
I am wondering about a few options to suggest – anti-fatigue insoles, Ergo Mates, moving the mat out of the way each time, a specific brand/type of mat that will accommodate casters moving on it more easily…?
If you have had any experience with a similar situation or have a suggestion, I would appreciate it.
Not a fan of anti-fatigue mats…will likely get some backlash from this opinion for a variety of reasons already well discussed in previous threads. Footwear and Foot Orthosis application is the primary method to address the force distribution that occurs at the foot and ankle. Ensuring employees are wearing approriate footwear is primary and can be evaluated by a certified orthotist, pedorthist, or a physical therapist (AT, KIN, PT etc) with appropriate training in Foot/Footwear Assessment/Evaluation/Recommendations.
Sustained standing is the primary culprit and it is great that employees are provided with sit/stand chairs. Keeping it simple is generally par for recommendations. To reduce static postures, promote dynamic movement. This can be more effectively assessed and evaluated by an Ergonomist or a physical therapist trained in ergonomic principles. Generaly fitness of employees is also key as what employees do OUTSIDE of the office has a direct impact on their abilities INSIDE the office. Would be more than happy to elaborate further if interested.
In closing…..an individuals feet has specific needs according to the weightbearing positioning of the tibia on the talus of the foot. This interaction will determine whether employees would benefit from more cushion or support from their footwear. I will check back to see if we have any pedorthists or orthotists that care to comment further
John Bragdon, BSc. Kin, CK(OKA)
Director of Kinesiology/Occupational Services
Ditto all of the above. Excellent advice. I don’t believe ant-fatigue matts will make any difference here either. Match the castor (or glides) on the chair to the type of flooring. Footrest under the chair are not always the best options as you are increase the bend of the leg. Is there any possibility to add a footrest under the counter? Ideally adjustable, but if not an anaylsis will tell you if there is a suitable fixed height. Pheasant, Haselgrave (2006) Bodyspace – Ch."User fitting trials" has an excellent method for this.
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