Friday, September 14, 2012

Power Balance Bands: Are They Effective?

Power Balance bands became the latest sports rage sometime during 2010 when popular athletes were first seen using them.  The Australian manufacturing company that makes these popular rubber bracelets claims that the embedded holograms adjust your body’s energy or vibrations.  There are a couple other companies that also manufacture similar products such as Phiten and EFX.  But do they really work?  A representative from the Power Balance company issued a statement that acknowledged, “We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims.  Therefore we engaged in misleading conduct.” (Radford, 2011).  

As a professional, I am perplexed by the popularity of these bands.  I still personally know people who are wearing their bands with claims that they feel so much better, their shoulder, back, knee (whatever it is) pain has vanished, and they have more energy.  How are these people getting results if the company claims that they are basically a farce?  The answer --- because they believe that they work.  Have you ever heard the saying “look good, feel good, play good?”  If the people who are wearing them believe they are working, they will convince themselves that they are.  If you don’t believe in them or think they work, then you probably won’t feel any changes by wearing one.  Australian researcher Richard Saunders told Discovery News, “The claims are that these bands will improve your strength, your balance, and your flexibility. They also suggest it will improve your well-being, give you clarity of thought, improve your stamina and sports performance, that sort of thing.” (Radford, 2011).  The key words in this statement are ‘claims’ and ‘they also suggest.’  Nowhere is there the word ‘evidence’ or any scientific facts to back up their so called claims.  Rather than published scientific work to promote their bands, this product was promoted through paid celebrity endorsements and viral marketing.  Many celebrities such as Robert DeNiro, Shaquille O’Neal, Kate Middleton, and even Bill Clinton were spotted seen sporting a Power Balance band.  Golf instructor and PGA Pro Dave Stockton Jr. claimed his EFX bracelet eliminated tendinitis in his wrist.  He said "If you believe it gives you an advantage, it's going to give you an advantage. If you don't believe in what you're using, you're not going to be using it.” (Stein, 2011).  

Final Thoughts - I won’t be wearing a Power Balance, EFX, or Phiten band anytime soon, but if other people believe they are doing great things for their body, more power to them!

Radford, B. (2011, January 10). Power Balance Maker Admits Bands Are Worthless. Retrieved September 6, 2012, from Discovery News:

Stein, A. (2011, January 14). Do those power bands athletes wear really work? Retrieved September 10, 2012, from Chicago Tribune:

1 comment:

  1. The term “Self-fulfilling prophecy” came to mind while reading your post. The term means “prediction that directly or indirectly causes it to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.” I do not believe the bracelets work “physical”, but when you look at it from a mental point of view, if you think it works, then it is in fact working.

    The first time I seen one of the power balance bracelets I asked how they worked. The girl pushed me and I took a step back. The next time she put the bracelet on my wrist and she went to push me again and I did not move. She said it was because of the bracelet, I knew it was because I was expecting the push the second time. At this point I was not a believer in its physical power. After reading your post about if people believe they work, then they are working. I believe that no matter what it is whither it’s a power balance bracelet or a penny in your shoe. If you believe it’s producing positive and you are in fact feeling the improvements then it is working.