A spanner has a long handle because we want the moment of force to be high. The moment is equal to the force * the arm length. The arm length is the distance between the pivot or or the bolt or the screw, and the hands.
If the handle is long, less force is needed to turn the bolts..
In gyms the padding used is soft. We want that any pressure or force or weight applied on the person does not damage the person. The softness of materials absorbs some force by compression like in a spring. Then the force is releases slowly. This will result in less impact on the sports person.
When a person jumps up and lands on a soft mat, the person feels some spring like effect under the feet. Otherwise, the reaction force from the floor will damage the feet and ankles.
if the mats and the padding are hard like steel, then they are heavy, and the force or impact of any force is directly transmitted to the person's body. That will damage the person.