07 February 2011
Holographic wristbands study results published
The study will be published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.
Researchers Dr Rick Ames, Dr Simon Brice and Dr Brett Jarosz with research participant, Joanna Ngo.
A paper by RMIT University researchers on the efficacy of holographic technology wristbands will be the first to be published in an internationally peer-reviewed journal.
The team of researchers from the Discipline of Chiropractic in RMIT's School of Health Sciences tested one of the key claims behind Power Balance wristbands – that wearing them improves balance – and found they had no effect on balance and stability.
Their findings will be published in a forthcoming edition of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.
Chief investigator, Dr Simon Brice, said the study found there was no statistically significant change in balance performance brought about by the silicon wristbands, which are embedded with two hologram discs.
"We saw no difference in people's balance whether they were using the wristband, wearing a placebo or wearing no wristband at all," Dr Brice said.
"While our focus was on balance and stability, holographic technology wristbands are also promoted as enhancing strength, flexibility and endurance.
"Further research involving randomised controlled and clinical trials is needed to evaluate these additional purported benefits.
"But given this study strongly refuted the primary balance benefit of holographic wristbands, the validity of other purported benefits seems highly unlikely."
The randomised, double-blind controlled trial tested 42 volunteers on a computerised dynamic posturography device that measures balance and stability.
The test was performed three times: once with no wristband, once with a placebo wristband (where the holograms were replaced with two stainless steel discs of the same dimensions and weight) and once with a Power Balance wristband.
Co-author Dr Brett Jarosz said the study – supervised by Senior Lecturer Dr Rick Ames and aided by RMIT statisticians James Baglin and Dr Cliff Da Costa – suggested that any perceived improvements in balance or athletic performance while wearing the wristbands could be attributed to people's subjective expectations of the devices.
"They think it will work, therefore they feel like it's working," Dr Jarosz said.
The research examined the efficacy of holographic wristbands.