The effect of cushioning materials on musculoskeletal discomfort and fatigue during prolonged standing at work: A systematic review

Gosia Speed, Kate Harris, Tessa Keegel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This systematic review updates the current state of evidence on the effectiveness of softer flooring and cushioned shoe insoles on reducing musculoskeletal discomfort amongst workers who are required to stand for prolonged periods to work and the impact of factors such as age and gender on the outcomes. A systematic search identified 10 unique studies that met the eligibility criteria. The heterogeneity of study designs impacted on the strength of evidence. A moderate level of evidence was found in support of using cushioned materials in reducing discomfort/fatigue among standing workers. A limited level of evidence exists in favour of using insoles over anti-fatigue mats. Insufficient information exists for the impact of gender or age. Larger, good quality prospective intervention trials based in real workplaces that consider the impact of psychosocial and organisational factors on musculoskeletal discomfort whilst standing at work are required to inform industry recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-314
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Discomfort
  • Mat
  • Standing

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