The SmartCells mat is 3/8 of an inch thick and 2 feet wide by 3 feet long.
Found: SmartCells Anti-fatigue SlimLine mat; sample sent from Satech Inc., available at www.smartcellsusa.com
Cost: $49.95 – $59.95
Back in the early days of writing my food column, I used to stand in the kitchen cooking for six to eight hours at a time. It never used to bother me much. I'd just load everything into the car and get my break while driving into Erie for the photo shoots.
Then I hit age 44 or so. It might as well have been 100. I developed plantar fasciitis and arthritis in my lower back. These bones were giving me 30 minutes at a time at most, and I found myself leaning on the counter most of the time.
I usually save this space for more affordable items, but I figured I can't be alone in my kitchen weariness, and I'm not one of those "No pain, no gain" types. To me, pain is not "weakness leaving the body." It's my body telling me to do something different.
This mat has given me back an hour of kitchen work at a time, and even then I only take precautionary breaks. I've also found it's a good time to review recipes and make sure I didn't forget anything or to chuck things I know I'm not going to get around to.
I had tried two memory foam mats, but they both got so dirty I couldn't get them clean without damaging the foam. This mat is 3/8 of an inch thick, 2 feet wide by 3 feet long and comes in black, light brown and gray. It's rubber, with little shock-absorbing cups underneath so it doesn't absorb liquid, but it doesn't look like a bathmat. Its beveled edges and subtle surface pattern make it blend right into my Pergo.
When I'm done cooking and have to clean up, I slide it from my work area to in front of the sink, but I'm seriously considering buying a second one to make this unnecessary, as it weighs in at more than 8 pounds. I can just run over it with the Swiffer wet mop, or take an old dishcloth and scrub anything that's stuck to it.
Only complaint? I wish they came with funky designs or sayings. My brother (named Matt) has a mat that says "I'm mat." Get it? Anyway. My feet like this one just fine.
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