The Proof Is In The Research
Over the past 20 years, academics have undertaken a number of narrowly defined research projects that have looked at discrete variables relating to fatigue, muscle problems, and chronic injuries resulting from standing work postures. These studies have been narrowly defined because a comprehensive look at these factors would require considering too many synergistic relationships and would have to be conducted over an exceptionally extended period of time. Consequently, objective long-term studies comparing the cumulative effects of standing on a concrete or block floor vs. standing on an Ergomat, vs. standing on other mat styles or brands have not been undertaken.
We are able to provide you with a fairly comprehensive collection of academic studies, which when considered together start to build the analytic case you have requested, but still fall short of providing an easily understood, definitive answer.
Contemporary research indicates that there is a correlation between blood accumulation in the feet and legs (venous pooling) and the fatigue experienced by standing workers. Increased muscle activity in the lower extremities, which is indicated by increased temperature, combats venous pooling. In static working conditions like assembly line or workstation environments, it has been shown that Ergomat's design, which incorporates a firm but varied surface profile and a rapid return from compression shock, contributes favorably to the reduction of venous pooling, and by logical extension, fatigue.
Please note in particular the article entitled "The Role of Mechanical Properties in the Ergonomic Performance of Commercial Mats" which is used on an Ergomat competitor's website, even though the study concludes that Ergomat provides the superior product.
In addition to "The Role of Mechanical Properties in the Ergonomic Performance of Commercial Mats", the zipped Academic Research file contains articles that more directly deal with the impact of matting on a standing worker.
For more information, we also have three more general analyses of the effects resulting from prolonged standing work postures. Please email us should you want a copy.
Taken together, this collection of studies makes the case that workers standing on hard surfaces experience fatigue, as do workers standing on excessively cushioned surfaces. The ideal mat provides the proper balance between shock absorption and rebound. They also suggest that attention to workplace ergonomics improves alertness, productivity, and safety. Conversely, neglecting workplace ergonomics can have both short-term and long-term detrimental effects on worker safety and health.