Dean, I believe that you might be extrapolating well beyond the scope of the cited study. This was an engineering study and not a medical study. Besides, one study does not imply conclusive results especially considering the very narrowly focused scope of that particular study which was to evaluate the mechanics of postural stability as they apply to one particular mat -- a parameter that would not be relevant to many of the reasons that a pad would be beneficial. The fact that the study only used seven young healthy men is an indicator that their focus was not aimed at evaluating that particular mat for things that would be more relevant to common medical conditions of "more mature" (meaning most of us) individuals who are experiencing various problems from working at the lathe. Orthopedic surgeons prescribe gel pad orthotic inserts for shoes to treat various conditions such as plantar fasciitis. They also recommend the use of mats to help relieve discomfort for patients with various conditions. Or as John more succinctly put it, "to hell with the research".