I was recently sent a power balance bracelet to test. This came about due to the fact that someone asked me did I wear them, and I subsequently did some research which threw up all sorts of doubt as to their reliability.
Quite a debate was struck up, and on the whole, with a few isolated cases, it was felt that they did not work, and had no scientific background at all. Read More
Power balances claims: how exactly does the bracelet work?
I am not entirely sure what this is meant to mean, though! If you use enough fancy words, is it meant to make it more believable?!
Porcari et al (2010) did research for the journal of sports science, into whether the power balance bracelet improved balance, flexibility, strength and power. They made some interesting observations.
42 athletes were tested on four tests, trunk flexibility, balance, strength and vertical jump. These tests were the same as those on the power balance test videos. The test was repeated twice, with a placebo bracelet then a power balance bracelet. There were negligible differences between the test results the first time, but much more promising the second time. They explained this as being a result of either being more warmed up, or the practice of having done the test once already.
‘But in reality, these sales demonstrations are essentially carnival tricks. By altering the way you apply force to the body, explains Porcari, you can easily change the outcome. “If I’m pushing a certain direction, and then I change the angle of pull or push a little bit, I can get you to lose your balance easily,” he says.’ (Hall, 2011 ‘Power balance products: a sceptical look’)
Harriett Hall goes on to challenge their claims at length, with several questions, related to quotes from their web site, for example:
· It resonates at certain frequencies – so how did they test which frequencies work best?
· We are a frequency – we are a bunch of cells help together by a frequency she quotes, but states a frequency is ‘the number of repetitions of a periodic process in a unit of time’ therefore cannot exist in isolation.
She also explains a positive test done by a power balance representative on national TV, and explains how the flaws make it look like a positive test.
I would certainly be interested to try it if power balance UK wanted to give me a neoprene strap to wear, however, so far, it seems there is very little reliable evidence to suggest that it works at all.
WE TESTED IT OURSELVES!
A friend and gym owner friend of mine conducted a test on the power balance bracelet. He had seen the demonstration done by a sales rep, and helped construct a test to see if they really worked.Here is what happened. Read the review of how we tested it and what we found by following the link to our full gym test
To read more about the power balance bracelet research, click here.