Excerpt from the study - Workplace mat (ERGOKOMFORT®,FN-PLUS) by QIMOTO - Laboratory for Movement and Functional Diagnostics
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of the workplace mat (ERGOKOMFORT®, FN PLUS) on selected gait parameters. In this first step, the focus was placed on the knee joint with regard to joint angles (kinematics) and joint forces (kinetics). In addition to general parameters, such as the ground reaction force and temporal variables, the extent to which the selected parameters, joint angles and joint forces change due to the mat, compared to walking on normal ground, was investigated.
A three-dimensional gait analysis was performed with ten healthy subjects, using two force plates and eight infrared cameras to collect both kinetic and kinematic parameters of gait. For the mat condition, the mat floor was laid out in the form of a walkway and taped to the floor or force plates. In order to obtain comparable results, all subjects wore safety level 3 work shoes.
With regard to the duration of the individual phases, a comparison of the two conditions floor and workstation mat shows a significant difference in the duration of the load response.
Regarding the kinematics of the knee joint, a highly significant difference was found in the change of the joint angle medio-lateral direction in the load response (p = .001). Here, the change on the mat (4.3° ± 1.8°) is 0.3° greater than on the floor (4.0° ± 1.8°).
The hip joint is affected by the mat condition, especially in the push-off phase, both in kinematics and kinetics. The joint angle change in this phase in the frontal plane (adduction/abduction) is significantly greater (p = .026) by 0.3° on the mat (7.3 ± 2.1°) than on the floor (7.0 ± 2.2°). The joint moment strains are greater in the push-off phase in the hip joint on the floor. In the mentioned studies, parameters were mostly examined before and after work, respectively after or during longer standing episodes.
The angular change in the ankle joint in the sagittal plane (dorsiflexion/plantarflexion) during the loading response (floor: 9.7 ± 2.0°; mat: 9.24 ± 1.7°) as well as in mid-stance (floor: 15.7 ± 5.3°; mat: 14, 7 ± 5.2°) is significantly greater on the floor than on the mat.
The tested workstation mat (FN-PLUS) shows a positive influence on the knee and ankle joint in the shock-absorbing load response. In this phase, the mat acts similar to a proprioceptive stimulus, increasing the power, or muscular activity in the two joints. As a result, the gait can be better stabilized at the beginning of the support phase on the mat, compared to normal floor.
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