SOLMAT project


The use of anti-fatigue mats has come to be generalized as a necessity to prevent the appearance of fatigue in workers who stand for long periods in an upright position. Although many mats are available, there are still doubts regarding their true efficiency. In this context, this work introduces the results of the development of a new industrial mat concept, with the use of a new material in this field of application: cork rubber. From a methodological point of view, this process was developed centered on a multidisciplinary work team, its focus being a participatory ergonomics approach.


Gathered information and research regarding prolonged up right postures and their effects on workers well being and health shows that the adoption of these postures without resting periods can result inserious problems. In the medium term uncom for table working situations may rapidly progress, frompainfultirednesssituations to unbearable pains.

The purpose of this study was to develop a safer, comfortable and efficient product that takes into consideration aspects of dynamic interactions with the user, complying with market demands. We propose, therefore, an adjusted, integrated and participatory methodology developed with the company’s different areas involved in the project.

solmat 01

The concept, preliminary and detailed studies were developed by a multidisciplinary team made up by marketing, ergonomics, material and production engineering. The concept was based on a mixture of rubber and cork and performed well, particularly in the following variables: shock absorption; stability of the feet; anti slip of the mat on the floor and the shoes on the mat; easy to clean; isolation of the floor’s temperature and resistance to aggressive exterior elements. The validation of the final mat’s prototype was made in Portugal and Germany using a sample of 60 workers in a real work situation and the results showed a high acceptance rate of the mat in relations to the previous floor surface in the following variables: higher comfort while walking; higher safety; less tiredness at the end of the day namely in the lower limbs (feet and legs); higher stability during walking and good shock absorption.

Results (Obtained or Expected)

The developed anti-fatigue was:

• Good behaviour of shock absorption and simultaneous promotion of feet stability;

• Antislipness of the maton the floor and the shoes on the mat;

• Durabilityof 3 years, in normal use;

• Easy to clean;

• Good isolation of the floor’s temperature and resistance to exterior aggressive elements.

The studies have found that workers report improvements comfort and decrease perception of fatigue when they work, stand or walking on Solmat.