Good Morning Good People:
Three years ago a new piece of “athletic performance equipment” began to make its way to the forefront of “sports performance”. Power Balance bracelets (and pendants), designed to harness your body’s natural energy flow via a hologram, are now being worn by many
professional athletes to make them perform better by increasing their flexibility, balance and strength.
I am sure you’ve all seen the “demonstrations” on television that helped propel this product from a modest $8000 in sales its rookie year to an astonishing $17 million by this past June. In the
commercial a tester seemingly “proves” the bracelet’s effectiveness by first pushing or pulling a “subject” (sin bracelet) causing a loss of balance and revealing a lack of strength. Then, immediately after the subject slips on “The Bracelet” (which retails for $30), the test is
repeated – resulting in the subject’s immediate increase in balance and strength.
While most of you are as skeptical as I am about such things, I thought it was interesting to see what exercise experts from the University of Wisconsin at Lacrosse concluded. They tested 12 men and nine women to discover if the Power Balance bracelets provide better
“results” than a 30 cents rubber placebo bracelet. In order to control the testing environment, each subject performed each test with both types of bracelets. However, each bracelet was covered with a terry-cloth wrist band in order to keep the subjects from knowing which was one was being used.
The results? Not surprisingly, no difference. But what was surprising was why. It’s called the order effect. Here, regardless of the order in which bracelets were used, the subjects did better on the second trial. This suggests that the subjects braced themselves for the second test each time and thus performed better. Remember, in the commercials and on the company’s website demos, the testers always use the Power Balance bracelets after testing without them.
So, the only people benefiting from these things are brothers Josh (26) and Troy (36), co-founders of Power Balance.