Unyielding surfaces like ceramic tile and hardwood can be rough to the human body, especially on sensitive areas like the spine, hips, and ankles, says Gbolahan Okubadejo, MD, a spine and orthopedic surgeon in the greater New York City area. In addition to general pain and discomfort, standing up for hours can bring a variety of health problems, such as swelling, varicose veins, pain and stiffness in the back.
“Standing on a hard surface for long periods of time usually makes your lower limbs uncomfortable and stiff. You also reduce blood flow to the muscles, which leads to lower limb fatigue and pain in the neck and back muscles, legs and feet “says Dr. Okubadejo. “Anti-fatigue mats reduce the static standing time and get your legs into subtle motion. This allows your muscles to compensate for the instability of the anti-fatigue mats, which helps maintain blood flow in the body and forces you to change your posture.”
Dr. Okubadejo says the soft structure of the anti-fatigue mats reduces pressure around the spinal cord and distributes weight more evenly and naturally. They also limit standing with flat feet, which can increase the risk of pain in the ankles, hips, and knees. He recommends being selective about thickness and aiming for mats 3/4 inch high. The same goes for the overall design as the shape and materials of the mats can all affect joint health.
“Foam anti-fatigue mats are great for areas like the bathroom or kitchen in a house,” says Dr. Okubadejo. “Foam rubber mats are suitable for long periods of standing and often have a higher foam density inside. Gel mats are probably the best for anti-fatigue and ergonomic properties. “
5 anti-fatigue mats to protect your joints
ComfiLife Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat – $ 40.00
This $ 40 anti-fatigue mat has 15,000+ 5-star reviews on Amazon. It consists of joint-friendly memory foam. And you don’t have to worry about slipping or sliding as each mat has a non-slip handle that won’t move on hardwood, tile, or linoleum. Available in three different sizes and a few colors.
Fully Topo Anti-Fatigue Mat – $ 99.00
Fully’s anti-fatigue mat contours and edges are designed to cushion tired toes on a standing desk, but it works just as well in front of the kitchen sink. Inspired by the natural valleys and peaks that we find outside, the Topo-Mat from Fully is ideal for people who like to move while standing. For those who have limited space in the kitchen, it is also available in a mini version.
GelPro Elite Premier Gel & Foam Anti-Fatigue Mat – $ 115.00
GelPro’s premium product is like Mercedes-Benz from anti-fatigue mats. It features a gel-foam mixing core for complete shock absorption against unyielding surfaces, while its textured exterior won’t slip or stain. For larger kitchens or larger surfaces, it is also available in a variety of sizes, with a maximum length of 20 “by 72”.
Wise Life Padded Anti-Fatigue Mat – $ 24.00
For better joint health on a budget, check out Wise Life’s kitchen mat. For just $ 24, it’s made of memory foam for a cloud-like grip, a non-slip handle, and a beveled edge for a sleek design. Instead of your standard full black, it is. Available in a colorful pattern that will spice up your kitchen, bathroom or office.
iMovR EcoLast Portable Standing Mat – $ 80.00
Like Fully’s mat, iMovR’s anti-fatigue product is marketed as an ergonomic office accessory. However, its size and handle make it easy to take and transport anywhere, including your kitchen. All iMovR products are made in the USA from recycled materials to reduce your carbon footprint. Available in black, gray and burgundy.
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