US 3100483 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 13, 1963 E. G. ALTMEYER ETA.. 3,100,483
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United States Patent 3,100,483 FOOT EXERCISER MAT Edward G. Altmeyer and Donald C. Andreasson, both of 7364 W. Grand River, Brighton, Mich. Filed Apr. 27, 1962, Ser. No. 190,662 Claims. (Cl. 12S-25) This invention relates to a foot exerciser mat and is particularly designed for persons lwho wish to relax the muscles in their feet and stimulate the circulation therein.
The device comprises briefly a mat formed of a soft flexible material with `coniigurations on the top surface in su-ch design and Iof such shape that they can massage the muscles and reexes in the soles of the feet.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a foot massaging device `which can be used by a person standing on the mat or by -a person 'sitting and placing his feet on the mat in the front of his chair. The conguration of the mat is such that the effect of it alters with the position of the foot on the mat, portions being raised from the normal level to accommodate the arch of the foot in varying positions.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a mat of the type described which can be readily cleaned and handled.
Other objects and features of the invention relating to details of construction and operation `will be apparent in the following description and claims.
A drawing accompanies the disclosure and the various views thereof may be briefly described as:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the mat;
FIGURE 2 is `a longitudinal section on line 2-2 of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 3 is a transverse section on line 3 3 of FIGURE 1.
Referring to the drawing now in detail, the mat is shown as having an elliptical shape although this shape is not critical to the effectiveness of the mat. The mat comprises a base portion 12 and integral protuberances which are preferably formed of a soft rubber material or its equivalent with a durometer hardness preferably ranging from 40 to 60. The central portion of the mat in a more or less rectangular area 14 is proiiled `by being raised gr-adudly from each side to a high portion and tapers or blends at the sides into the portion 12. Integrally formed with the mat on the surface 16 are small protuberances or knobs 18 surrounding the outer portions of the mat and larger protuberances 2d on the profiled portion 14. The knob-s 18 yare preferably about 3/8 in diameter at their base `and `about 1/4 in height and with a preferred maximum height of 3/s The larger knobs 2li are preferably about 1/2" in diameter at the base, preferably about Ss in height with a preferred maximum of about 1/2. Fthe marginal mat thickness relative to 4the center of fthe raised central portion has a differenti-al of from 1/4 to 1/2 an inch while the over-all thickness of the mat may vary depending on the ilexibility desired. A total thickness of 3/15 to 1A at the outer borders inside the marginal r-idge 32 is recommended.
It will tbe noted that the knobs 1S and 2li are longitudinally and laterally aligned yand also diagonally aligned, the spacing being about 1 between centers throughout most of the area of the mat. `While the alignment above described and shown in the drawings is preferred from the point of view of ease of manuiiactu-re of the dies and the mat, the spirit of the invention includes concentric rings of the protuberances or even a random arrangement as long as the basic general pattern is maintained as to quantity and height. In the portion at the bottom center of the mat below the area 14, as viewed in FIG- URE 1, the number of the sm-aller protuberances 18 is 3,100,483 Patented Aug. 13, 1963 ICC increased to `.about double. For example, it will be noted that the protuberancesl in `groups of four, such as 22, 24, 26 and 28 have a protuberance 30 in their midst and the same is trule of the other groupings of four in this area. The increase in density of the protuberances at this point is provided to support the heel of the user where the flesh is a little closer to the bone and the weight is of greater concentration. Above the central portion .14 are three of the larger protuberances 40 to contact the big toe area of the foo-t.
In the use of the mat, `a person removes his shoes and either with bare feet or light stockings he faces the mat as it appears in FIGURE 1 and moves on to it preferably with his feet spread apart to avoid the central section 14. The fee-t can then be moved gradually toward the center of the mat, one -at a time, Where the increased height due to the larger protuberances and the profiled central portion moves into the arch portion of the foot and exercises the muscles and reflexes of the arch as well as on the bottom :of the foot. The result of standing on a mat of this design for a period of even tive minutes is a complete stimulation of the muscles and reflexes of the feet; the relaxation thereof has la beneficial effect on the entire body. The mat is preferably formed of a non-porous material which is easily washed and maintained in a sanit-ar/ condition. It is also preferably formed of a material which is flexible enough that the mat can be rolled up when not in use.
1. A mat for relaxing and massaging of the feet comprising:
(a) a base of flexible material,
(b) a plurality of upstanding protuberances arranged on said mat, said protuberances being spaced and aligned longitudinally, laterally and diagonally,
(c) said mat having a thickened central portion raised above the remainder of the mat and blending gradually into the surface of the remainder of the mat, and
(d) there lbeing provide-d along one side of the mat between one edge and the raised central portion, double the number of protuberances as elsewhere on the lmat, the Iadded protuberances being aligned longitudinally, laterally and diagonally and interspaced with the other protuberances.
'2'. A mat for relaxing and massaging of the feet corn- (a) a base of exible material,
(b) a plurality of upst-anding protuber-ances arranged on said mat, said protuberances being spaced and laligned longitudinally, laterally and diagonally,
(c) said mat having a thickened central portion raised above the remainder of the mat and blending gradufally into the surface of the remainder of the mat, and
(d) the protuberances on the raised portion of the mat ibeing higher than the protuberances on the remainder of the mat, and
(e) the pnotuberances 'along one side of the mat between one `edge yand the central portion being doubled in number yby intermediate spacing relative to each group of four protuberances.
3. A mat as defined in claim 2 in which:
(a) the protuberances are each domed in a rounded shape tapered to the base,
(b) the base and the protuberances being integr-a1 and 3 l ladditional longitudinal and lateral lines of protuber- (d) an area of the mat along one side `being provided ances between the normally spaced protuberances. with more `closely .spaced protuberances to form heel 5. A mat for relaxing and massaging of the feet comsupport for the user. priisinv: I
((1):, a base -of flexible material hav-ing a uniform thick- 5 References Cited 111 the file 0f hlS patent ness and flat upper surface over the major portion UNITED STATES PATENTS of its area, (b) a proled section on said mat raised from its 4761921 Shock July 19 1949 edges in la gradual slope from said upper surface to a high central point in the section, and 10 OTHER REFERENCES (c) a plunality of relatively e10se1y-spaeed, round- The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, pp. 1098- -topped prot-uberances on said mat of slightly resilient 1099, vol. 29, No. 4, October 1947. (Copy in Division material, and 55.)