An Anti-Fatigue Kitchen Mat Can Increase Worker Productivity
An anti-fatigue kitchen mat can make a colossal difference to the endurance and comfort of kitchen workers. Even the best chefs get tired. It may not seem like it, but running a kitchen can be a grueling task, and is one of the more physically demanding jobs around. Head chefs, sous chefs and other members of staff in the kitchen are always on their feet, whether they are cooking themselves or overseeing other workstations. Over a long shift, this can be mentally and physically exhausting. But using an anti-fatigue kitchen mat can help. Not only will it ease the strain on a kitchen worker’s body, but it will also allow them to be more productive and maintain their cooking creativity for longer.
As a restaurant owner, you will have hired a great team to run your kitchen. Every establishment relies on the quality of its food, so having a top-notch chef is vital. But it is just as important to make sure that your chefs have the equipment they need to be effective. Of course, that includes the usual assortment of pots, pans and utensils. But a good anti-fatigue kitchen mat or comfort mat will be just as valuable to the well-being of your chef and the success of your restaurant.
Kitchen workers will spend many hours on their feet at a workstation through the course of a shift, and it is only natural for tiredness to set in. As people experience fatigue, they can easily lose concentration, make mistakes and work at a far slower pace. These are all major problems in a busy restaurant, where you need to fill orders quickly and everyone needs to be alert so as not to be hurt in the frenetic mix of burners, knives and boiling liquids.
Tiredness can set in whether or not someone is using a comfort mat in the kitchen. But spending such long hours standing on a hard kitchen floor, perhaps with tile as its surface material, takes more of a toll on a person’s body. Particular strain is put on the lower back muscles and spine, as well as the leg muscles, knee and ankle joints. The muscle pain is caused by a reduced blood flow, due to the muscles being static. As the body works harder to get blood to the muscles, fatigue sets in more quickly.
An anti-fatigue kitchen mat provides an extra level of underfoot padding and comfort. Different products work in slightly different ways, but any anti-fatigue kitchen mat will have stress-relieving and shock-absorbing qualities. Rubber kitchen flooring is already becoming more common, due to its natural elasticity, water resistance and grip, but these cushioned kitchen floor mats are specially designed to provide more support and alleviate chronic pain. For instance, some comfort mats might have a waffle pattern on their underside to allow more spring and improve their cushioning qualities. Others might have an air bubble design to provide more support and comfort.
The positive impact of an anti-fatigue kitchen mat on a person’s body goes beyond a simple padded surface though. The comfort mat inspires constant tiny movements in the kitchen worker’s legs and body, reducing physical stress and inspiring better circulation.
It has been proven that an anti-fatigue kitchen mat can ease a worker’s pain. In 1987, a study was carried out at the University of Michigan’s Center of Ergonomics. An ergonomist named Mark Redfern performed an experiment in a controlled environment, having workers stand on different surfaces for substantial periods of time, and recording their levels of pain and discomfort. Redfern discovered that test subjects who stood on anti-fatigue mats were able to their level of fatigue by up to 50%.
So, does the use of an anti-fatigue kitchen mat lead to increased productivity? The facts and figures point to a resounding yes. In 2003, a study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It revealed that lost productive time in the workplace as a result of common pain conditions was significant. In fact, it was estimated that lost productivity due to aches and pains – such as those associated with prolonged standing – costs employers in America more than $61 billion every year.
The past data is broad, and it is not specific to restaurant kitchens. But it is applicable, and it stands to reason that using an anti-fatigue kitchen mat to reduce tiredness, aches and pains, would boost productivity and allow workers to be less affected by prolonged standing. If you want to make sure your kitchen staff stay alert and at their baking best, especially while surrounded by sharp knives and searing heats, using an anti-fatigue kitchen mat is a must.