According to the GelPro website, pain, discomfort, and fatigue comes about due to the tightening and constricting of muscles from standing on hard surfaces for a long time. The constriction reduces blood flow causing aches and leads to muscle spasms and pain. The constriction can also affect nerves which can cause fatigue and lower-back pain (as well as pain in other parts of the lower body).
All I know is that when I stand for a long time on my laminate wood floor in my kitchen, the heels of my feet start to hurt (from the pressure of the hard surface) and some of my muscles start to ache. When I stand on the GelPro Mat, I can feel that the pressure is spread out and there are no "hot spots" on the bottom of my feet where there is more pressure.}?>
Since most of my time is spent photographing the preparation of recipes, I usually keep a 20-in. by 36-in. mat in front of my prep area. The mats also come in a 20-in. by 72-in. version as well as a plethora of colors and textures.
The mat I have shown in these photos is a basketweave GelPro Mat in chestnut color. It cleans really easily, usually I just wipe it off with a paper towel and if there's something on sticky on there a damp paper towel takes care of it. So far I've needed to use a little dishwashing detergent (the hand use kind, not the machine kind) just once. I wiped it on with the damp paper towel, rubbed off the greasy spot, and wiped it dry - the mat returned to it's original look.
I don't know what else I can say about these mats. After six months, I know they work - my feet, legs, and back don't feel fatigued while I'm working in the kitchen, it's comfortable to stand over long periods of time, and I can't imagine working in a kitchen without one now.
I highly recommend getting one or two of these mats (one in front of the stove and one in front of where you prepare you ingredients) for your kitchen especially if your kitchen flooring is hard (which it probably is - I can't imagine a carpeted kitchen). The easiest way to get them is to order them direct from the company by going to GelPro Pad's Product Page. At the time of the writing of this article, the basic 3-ft. wide mats are $99 and the 6-ft. wide mats are $199. It makes a wonderful gift for yourself or for the one who cooks in your household (or the one who does laundry).
Basketweave ($99.95 - $199.95)
Cordoba ($124.95 - $249.95)
Striated ($149.95 - $299.95)
Crocodile ($149.95 - $299.95)
Ostrich ($124.95 - $249.95)
Rattlesnake ($149.95 - $299.95)