Impact of Anti-Fatigue Mats on Brain Function
It’s no news that standing for long periods of time every day can have detrimental effects on our bodies. Many have felt pain in the lower back, knees, feet or calves as a result of continuous standing at work. Anti-fatigue mats have been developed to solve this problem.
The pain and discomfort from long standing hours occur because of blood flow restrictions to certain parts of the body. Certain muscles become stiff as they get tired, but still, they continue working “overtime”. Due to this muscle constriction, the heart uses more energy to pump blood into the overworked muscles, and this increased energy expenditure causes fatigue.
Fatigue, of course, doesn’t happen only in the muscles, it also happens in our brains. The brain is the organ with the highest metabolic activity. No matter if we are awake or asleep, busy or relaxing, our central nervous system uses 15% to 20% of our oxygen intake. Due to restricted blood flow, the oxygen supply to the brain is decreased, and we start to feel tired. If this happens on a regular basis, we might begin to feel symptoms such as short term memory failure and reduced mental clarity. All of this is a result of poor cerebral circulation, and it is a directly related to reduced blood circulation. One of the further complications could be hypertension (high blood pressure).
The constant movement of the body allows the blood flow to continue naturally, and the distribution of oxygen remains constant. When we work hard, we activate certain areas of our brain, requiring more blood to flow through them. That is why it is crucial to have an interrupted oxygen supply to this organ. By having this, we can maintain better focus and productivity at our jobs, and that’s something that anyone would be interested in.
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The question is, how can mats help? When we stand on an anti-fatigue mat, it forces us to activate different muscles since standing on this flexible surface requires some balancing efforts. Because of this, the body is constantly in motion, shifting weight from back to the front of the foot. Also, when standing on a solid surface like concrete, our balance is unevenly distributed between our legs( a ratio of 70 – 30). The mats help with this as well, and the weight is split 50-50 on each of our legs.
As you already know, standing for more than three hours a day is often accompanied by back problems. In a recent study, scientists also discovered a possible correlation between back pain and brain shrinkage. An experiment was performed on some people, half of which suffered from back pain, and the other half which didn’t have such problems.
Reportedly, the group without pain showed the greater density of gray matter. The primary cause for the damage done to the brain is the continuous stress which is produced by constant hurting and discomfort. In any case, back pain isn’t pleasant, and now there is one more good reason to think about resolving it.
Even though we tend to separate them, our musculoskeletal system and the brain are two parts of one whole. One affects the other, and both should be properly taken care of. Health comes first and is a foundation for a happy life, so make sure to look after yourself.
Matt is blogging on Sheep Mats.com, a website aiming to help people discover quality products that will help them improve their health, their posture, and the quality of life. You can discover an in-depth guide to anti-fatigue mats there and browse for some quality stuff. We’re all striving for better health, better quality of life, and better experiences. With articles from Matt and his associates, you’ll be one step closer to your healthier life.