If you're sitting there reading about this HOVR contraption right now, know what you're doing? Restricting blood circulation. Contributing to the obesity epidemic. Sucking your productivity and concentration dry. Basically, by sitting at your desk or in your car or on your couch all day, you're killing yourself. At least that's what the latest research and the "Sitting is the new smoking" buzz phrase suggest.
But HOVR clarifies that health professionals aren't so down on sitting itself; it's the lack of movement that typically comes with sitting they warn against. Common recommendations to combat the effects of too much stillness now include taking a 10-minute walk every hour, or using not a full standup desk, but an adjustable stand up / sit down desk whose positioning you alter several times a day. And, as always, they like to thrown in getting off your ass and breaking a sweat on a regular basis too.
HOVR doesn't disagree with these prescriptions, but feels doing them daily often isn't realistic. So they designed a piece of equipment whose daily use, even perpetual use, they think is. I'm calling HOVR a seated walker to simplify things, but really the suspended pair of discs is more like a swing that can move in all planes of motion to help keep your body doing the same. Legs and feet can move in sync or separately with full forward-back or side-to-side swings. Both the arm mounting the and the discs themselves can also rotate independently for smooth, unencumbered motion that should feel natural, and ultimately unconscious to you. Here's a GIF.
HOVR's effects, however, will remain calibrated. The company notes the following benefits of moving with HOVR:
- Muscle contraction and motion that improves blood circulation (restricted circulation associated with constant sitting or standing is linked to impairment of cells lining the arteries, which contributes to cardiovascular disease.)
- Increased Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or NEAT. A Mayo Clinic team that did a 10-year study on obesity determined the largest contributing factor to the disease is a lack of movement in daily life. NEAT constitutes the calories you burn while doing normal, non-exercise activity, and being NEATer can reduce the likelihood of obesity and its related risks.
- Burn calories. Whether you're using HOVR at work or while watching TV, the company says incorporating it into your day "burns approximately the same number of calories as walking leisurely for 45 mins (depending on the pace)."
- Get your heart rate up. You'll have to be deliberate about this one, but HOVR has determined you can pump up the cardio a bit by changing your movement pattern every 6 to 10 moves, and wearing ankle weights while HOVRing.
- Increased cognitive function. Being physically active while working can improve productivity and concentration.
HOVR comes in 2 versions: the plates with a desk mount, including 4 screws for installation into the bottom surfaces of desks at least 1" thick; and a freestanding apparatus for use while you're on the couch, or that you can move around from desk to table to chair with you.