Why Are We Standing On Concrete?

By Steve Wilson

Boxing Day last year found my family taking a break from eating turkey and Christmas pudding and heading to the local Rugby Union Derby Game. We were with friends, excited for the chance to catch up and enjoy some action and some fresh air after the indulgences of the holiday.

Upon arrival at the rugby stadium, we could see that it was divided into several different areas for standing and sitting. A few of these - and where we ultimately took our places - were comprised of tiered concrete terraces, semi-open to the elements. The atmosphere was jovial and very festive, but as it was close to capacity, standing on the terrace had its pitfalls - namely, the beer being accidentally spilled on us by over-exuberant fans, as well as the limited space we had in which to move.

About halfway through the second half, this lack of movement while standing on the concrete steps started to take its toll on my joints. I began trying to rock back and forth on my heels and toes, attempting to create some small movement and relieve my discomfort. When the game finished and we went to a restaurant, a sense of relief went through my calves, lower back and shoulders as I was finally able to sit down.

It was at this moment that I actually realized just how harsh the concrete environment is and how it affects us when we stand for long periods of time without moving. I started thinking about what a standing worker goes through in one day on concrete; then, multiplied that by 5 days a week.

A Harsh and Unforgiving Environment

Hard concrete floors are a common feature in factories and warehouses of all kinds. Unfortunately, they are the worst of all surfaces to stand on for long periods of time. A host of problems can quickly appear in workers who spend the day standing on concrete, including:

  • sore feet

  • poor circulation and swollen feet and legs

  • back pain

  • varicose veins

  • prolonged lower limb muscle fatigue

During my experience at the rugby game, I noticed the lack of circulation in my lower legs quickly leading to full-body fatigue. This kind of pain and fatigue contributes to a company’s absentee rate as employees are forced to miss work due to physical symptoms. This kind of strain also takes its toll on the mental health of workers, adding to the likelihood that they’ll miss work and to an overall decline in productivity.

The Resolution That Will Change Lives

Your employees are the heartbeat and the lifeblood of your work establishment. It makes sense, then, that you want to provide them with the best environment that you can offer. You may not be able to get rid of your concrete floors, but you can alter their surface and make a difference in your employees’ lives. At Wearwell, we make anti-fatigue matting and ergonomic flooring solutions that alleviate the daily impact of standing and repetitive jobs. Our surfaces help workers perform better, stand stronger and work safer. We’ve studied the science of industrial ergonomics and developed more successful ergonomic and safety surfaces than anyone in our industry, surfaces that have been optimized for the way your workers move and the environments they work in.

By installing this type of anti-fatigue matting, you will provide your workers with relief from their pain and consequent fatigue. This in turn will contribute to their overall mental health and positive morale, allowing them to be more alert and productive.

The start of a new year is the perfect time to evaluate current practices and make resolutions to improve them. Why not resolve to protect the health and safety of your workers? Make 2019 the year that you put a stop to standing on concrete! Contact us for a free site survey and set the stage for a truly happy, healthy New Year.