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Anti-fatigue mats are designed to provide cushioning and support for your feet when standing for long periods of time. They also help to stop your legs and body from getting fatigued. As hypermobility increases tiredness, these mats are recommended for people with the condition.
If you’ve never heard of anti-fatigue mats before or want to know more about them, sit back, get comfortable, and read on.
Do anti-fatigue mats work?
Multiple pieces of scientific evidence have found that anti-fatigue mats do work. This research specifically includes:
- A 2022 study found that anti-fatigue mats benefit people that are at risk of developing standing-induced back pain.
- A meta-analysis study found that when anti-fatigue mats were used alongside sit-stand workstations, shoes, shoe inserts, and hosiery or stockings, standing-induced pain was reduced.
- A 2013 study revealed that participants who tested four different mats reported reduced discomfort when using three of them.
What are the benefits of anti-fatigue mats for hypermobility?
Anti-fatigue mats provide a number of benefits for people with hypermobility, such as:
- Reduced fatigue
- Reduced pain
- Improved posture
- Increased productivity
Using an anti-fatigue mat is also good for your safety as they prevent slips and falls. Hypermobility causes unstable and weak joints. As a result, it’s common for ankles to roll and knees to give way. Subluxations frequently occur without any reason also. On the positive side, using a mat decreases the chance of a fall. And, if you do take a tumble, you’ll have a soft surface to fall onto which may help to prevent a fracture.
What are the disadvantages of anti-fatigue mats for hypermobility?
It’s important to note that there are a few potential disadvantages to using anti-fatigue mats for hypermobility, including:
- They can be bulky and difficult to transport.
- They can be expensive.
- They may not be suitable for all types of flooring.
- You may need to test different ones to find the best one for you.
How to use anti-fatigue mats
Anti-fatigue mats are unquestionably easy to use. All you need to do is place them in the area where you’ll be standing for long periods of time. However, it‘s best to stick your mat down with anti-slip tape as this will keep the mat in place and prevent slips.
To prolong the lifespan of your anti-fatigue mat, go barefoot when using it. Otherwise, stick with soft-soled shoes, such as slippers or Crocs. Never wear heels or hardened sole shoes as they’ll damage the mat.
What size anti-fatigue mat is best for hypermobility?
Anti-fatigue mats come in a range of sizes. But you’re most likely to find them sized as below:
|Common Use Cases
|2 ft x 3 ft (60 cm x 90 cm)
|Individual workstations, standing desks
|3 ft x 5 ft (90 cm x 150 cm)
|Kitchens, workshops, small group areas
|3 ft x 10 ft (90 cm x 300 cm)
|Industrial settings, assembly lines, floors
Please note that these are approximate dimensions, and the actual sizes may vary depending on the manufacturer and specific product.
The best size anti-fatigue mat for hypermobility will depend on your individual needs. A good rule of thumb is to choose a mat that is at least as wide as your shoulders and as long as your feet.
Do anti-fatigue mats help back pain?
Back pain and hypermobility are strongly linked. Lower back pain is particularly common among hypermobile individuals, according to various studies. The good news is that anti-fatigue mats can lessen back pain caused by hypermobility by:
- Cushioning the feet and legs – This particularly helps to reduce the stress on the muscles and joints in the lower body, which prevents or reduce back pain.
- Promoting movement – The textured surface of many anti-fatigue mats encourages people to move their feet more, which surprisingly helps to improve circulation and reduce stiffness.
- Reducing fatigue – Standing for long periods of time is undoubtedly tiring. But, anti-fatigue mats can help to reduce fatigue by providing a more comfortable surface to stand on.
Studies have shown that anti-fatigue mats are effective in reducing back pain. For example, a study published in the journal “Ergonomics” found that workers who used anti-fatigue mats for 8 hours a day reported a significant reduction in back pain compared to workers who did not use mats.
Do anti-fatigue mats help aching feet?
Hypermobility causes flat feet and low arches which then leads to pain. The stress of supporting the entire body while standing, as well as loose connective tissue, contributes to achy, painful feet too.
Using an anti-fatigue mat can help because they provide cushioning and support for your feet.
When to use an anti-fatigue mat?
You can use an anti-fatigue mat when standing for long periods of time. You can even use them at the same time as doing tasks at work, at home, or in the classroom.
Great ways to use an anti-fatigue mat at work include:
|Use anti-fatigue mats at standing workstations to reduce fatigue and strain on feet, legs, and lower back.
|Anti-fatigue mats provide comfort and support in industrial environments where workers stand for extended periods.
|Retail employees who stand for long hours can benefit from anti-fatigue mats to alleviate discomfort and enhance productivity.
|Workers on assembly lines can benefit from anti-fatigue mats to minimize foot and leg fatigue caused by repetitive tasks.
|Anti-fatigue mats in laboratories provide cushioning and reduce the risk of accidents caused by slipping or tripping on wet or slippery surfaces.
|Cashiers can experience significant discomfort from prolonged standing, making anti-fatigue mats essential for their well-being.
|Hair Salons and Barbershops
|Anti-fatigue mats in hair salons and barbershops offer support and comfort to stylists who stand for long periods while attending to clients.
|In healthcare settings, where healthcare professionals spend long hours on their feet, anti-fatigue mats can reduce fatigue and support their well-being.
|In hotels, restaurants, and bars, anti-fatigue mats can provide relief to staff members who spend extended periods on their feet.
|If you have a standing desk at work, using an anti-fatigue mat can help reduce discomfort and fatigue associated with prolonged standing.
|Customer Service Counters
|Employees working at customer service counters or reception desks can benefit from anti-fatigue mats to reduce fatigue and enhance customer interactions.
|Trade Shows and Exhibitions
|Companies participating in trade shows and exhibitions can use anti-fatigue mats in their booth areas to provide comfort to staff members who are on their feet for long hours.
Here are some ways to utilize one in the home:
|Standing for extended periods while cooking or doing dishes can strain your feet and legs. Use an anti-fatigue mat in the kitchen to provide cushioning and reduce fatigue.
|Standing for long periods while doing laundry can cause discomfort. Place an anti-fatigue mat in the laundry room to alleviate fatigue and provide support.
|If you have a standing desk or spend a significant amount of time working at a desk, consider using an anti-fatigue mat to reduce strain on your feet, legs, and lower back.
|Garage or Workshop
|If you frequently work on DIY projects, woodworking, or other tasks in your garage or workshop, an anti-fatigue mat can provide comfort and support while standing.
|Whether you have a home gym or a designated space for exercise, using an anti-fatigue mat can help reduce the impact on your joints during workouts.
|If you have a standing desk setup at home, an anti-fatigue mat can help reduce the discomfort and fatigue associated with prolonged standing.
|Crafting or Hobby Area
|If you have a dedicated space for crafting, sewing, or other hobbies that involve standing for extended periods, using an anti-fatigue mat can enhance your comfort and focus.
|Standing in the Bathroom
|If you spend a lot of time standing in front of the bathroom mirror for grooming or getting ready, using an anti-fatigue mat can provide relief to your feet and legs.
|Standing in the Laundry Area
|If you often fold laundry or sort clothes in a dedicated laundry area, using an anti-fatigue mat can help alleviate discomfort and fatigue in your lower body.
You can use an anti-fatigue mat in the classroom too. Here’s how:
|If there are standing desks in the classroom, using anti-fatigue mats can help reduce discomfort and fatigue for students who choose to stand during class.
|In science laboratories, where students may spend long hours conducting experiments or working at lab benches, anti-fatigue mats can provide cushioning and support.
|Art students often spend extended periods standing while working on projects. Using anti-fatigue mats in art studios can alleviate fatigue and provide comfort.
|Group Discussion Areas
|In areas where students gather for group discussions or collaborative activities, using anti-fatigue mats can enhance comfort and promote active participation.
|Students in computer labs or IT classrooms may spend prolonged periods standing or working at standing computer stations. Anti-fatigue mats can help reduce fatigue in these areas.
|In lecture halls where students sit for long periods, placing anti-fatigue mats at the front of the room for guest speakers or instructors can provide relief during extended presentations.
|Teachers who spend significant time at their desks can benefit from using anti-fatigue mats to reduce strain on their feet and promote overall comfort.
|In gymnasiums or areas dedicated to physical education, using anti-fatigue mats can provide cushioning and support during exercise activities, reducing the impact on joints.
|Creating designated break areas with anti-fatigue mats can offer students a comfortable space to rest and recharge during breaks, promoting well-being and focus.
|In music classrooms or practice rooms, anti-fatigue mats can provide support to students who stand for long periods while playing instruments or rehearsing.
Related Post: Discover the Best Standing Desks for Hypermobility
Can anti-fatigue mats be washed?
Yes, most anti-fatigue mats can be washed. But, they should be hand washed rather than machine-washed. The mat you buy should come with washing instructions, but as a general rule, you should:
- Prepare the cleaning solution – Fill a bucket or sink with warm water and add a mild detergent or a gentle all-purpose cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the mat’s surface.
- Remove loose debris – Shake or sweep the mat to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris.
- Scrub the mat – Dip a soft-bristle brush or a sponge into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the mat’s surface. Pay extra attention to any stains, spills, or heavily soiled areas.
- Rinse with clean water – After scrubbing, rinse the mat thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining soap or cleaner. Make sure to remove all soap residue as it can make the mat slippery.
- Dry the mat – Hang the mat or lay it flat to air dry completely. Avoid placing the mat under direct sunlight or using excessive heat, as it may damage the material.
- Disinfect if necessary – If desired or required, you can disinfect the mat after cleaning by using a mild disinfectant solution or a mixture of water and vinegar. Follow the instructions on the disinfectant product and rinse well afterward.
- Regular maintenance – To keep the mat clean and prolong its lifespan, regularly sweep or vacuum the surface to remove loose dirt and debris. Promptly clean up spills or stains to prevent them from setting in.
What’s the best anti-fatigue mat material for hypermobility?
The best anti-fatigue mat material for hypermobility is a matter of personal preference. However, some materials that are often recommended for people with hypermobility include:
- Foam – Foam is a popular material for anti-fatigue mats due to its excellent cushioning properties. It provides comfort and support, reducing fatigue and stress on the feet and joints. Foam mats are lightweight and affordable, making them widely accessible for hypermobile sufferers.
- Rubber – Rubber is known for its durability and resilience, making it suitable for high-traffic areas or industrial environments. Rubber mats offer good anti-slip properties and can withstand exposure to oils, chemicals, and moisture. They provide effective support and cushioning for hypermobile joints.
- Gel – Gel-filled mats are designed to provide exceptional cushioning and support. The gel material conforms to the shape of the user’s feet, distributing weight evenly and reducing pressure points. Gel mats are often used in medical settings or environments where individuals require extra comfort.
- PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – PVC mats are durable, resistant to chemicals and oils, and provide excellent support for hypermobile joints. They offer a balance between firmness and cushioning, making them suitable for a wide range of environments, including industrial settings.
- Carpet or Vinyl – Some anti-fatigue mats feature a carpet or vinyl top layer. These mats offer a softer surface for standing, while still providing support and fatigue reduction. They can be suitable for office environments or areas where aesthetic appeal is important.
Now that you know all there is to know about anti-fatigue mats for hypermobility, why not buy one today? Believe us, your feet, legs, and back will thank you for it.