I stand a lot. I spend so much time at the kitchen counter prepping food, the kitchen sink washing dishes, at my cutting table working with fabric, and for some reason, I must stand to scrapbook! All these activities mean I am standing for hours and my lower back gets very tired. This has been exacerbated from the intense scrapbooking catch-up I've been doing lately. Poor posture and hard floors contribute to the aching and I knew I needed to find a remedy to ease my pain.
I was aware there were anti-fatigue mats on the market for workers who stand for long hours but I didn't know anything about them. With a little research I found Wellness Mats and the reviews were fantastic! Reading their story I learned Wellness Mats are used in hospitals, industry, hospitality, government, and spas - and anywhere people are on their feet for work. There are plenty of wonderful endorsements, including one from a favourite famous chef of mine, Sara Moulton, so I knew I'd hit the correct website and this was the exact product I was looking for.
So...how do these miracle mats work and how are they made? Visit the WellnessMats website for tons of information (the health attributes, the technology, the certifications, the reviews, the FAQs, and all the details!) but here's a brief explanation taken from 'Why WellnessMats' tab:
"WellnessMats provide constant, cushioned support under your feet. Our soft, smooth surface and buoyant core encourage very, very subtle movements and re-alignments. This subtle activity reduces muscle and joint fatigue as well as stress on the lower extremities.
Our mats are unlike any other. Made from our proprietary Advanced Polyurethane Technology (APT), our mats are ‘one piece construction.’ What this means is that unlike other mats made from several different materials fused or sewn together, our mats will never delaminate, the edges will never curl, nor will our mats puncture or slide. In addition our APT has allowed us to offer you an unprecedented 20-Year Warranty on all WellnessMats. Our mats will forever remain buoyant and supportive bringing you years of comfort and well-being (thus our name!)"
I was so excited to get a WellnessMat and fortunately, they are available in Canada. I was all set to order on-line and then happened to check the local kitchen specialty store and was delighted to discover they had them in stock. Within 10 minutes I was picking out my mat and the price was so good, I bought two. I had planned to buy one for the kitchen and just take it downstairs when I'd be crafting for extended periods, but having a dedicated mat for each location is even better. I'd love to have one of the longer ones that would cover the area in front of my cutting table but they are more of an investment and I'll have to save up for that.
I selected the 3'x2' original mats, one in the gorgeous Sea Shell shade (a light mauve) and one in Sunset (Cinnabar Red on Tan). The colours work perfectly in each location and have a pretty scroll design (Bella). Once I was home and stepped on the mat....HEAVEN! I asked hubby why I hadn't bought one of these 15 years ago!!! It is a mysterious and wonderful phenomena but somehow standing on the mat tilts my pelvis slightly and alleviates the pressure. I only got the mats yesterday but am already so relieved to know I can now stand for as long as I want without having to quit. When I'm in my studio the hours can fly by as I'm lost in my hobbies and I hate having to pack it in because of back ache. Can you tell I'm excited!?!
These WellnessMats are beautifully made and have an incredible 20 year warranty which includes a 7 year performance warranty. You can read all about the specifics here but it's pretty amazing. There are also so many styles, sizes and collections so you can choose what works in your space. If you stand as much as I do and are having issues with fatigue and discomfort, I highly recommend you give the WellnessMats a try. My husband is already ordering some for his display booth at work (he complains of pain all the time when he's standing for hours at conventions on those hard cement floors). Once he got home and I made him stand on the mat (no, he didn't have to wash the dishes), he was sold. "That's exactly what we need for our booth!" I told him the only issue I had with the mat was stepping off! When you hit that hard floor again you wonder why this company can't make shoes out of the same material.
Check back when I share my 4-day process of making sourdough rye bread. I wish I would have had my mat for that task...