It’s been pretty well established that sitting and not moving your body for long stretches of time is bad for your health. Though companies have created means for minimizing the risk, such as standing desks, most of us who work and/or play at their computers are still sitting all the time. Rather than getting computer users to stand up, crowdsourced desk-based exercise device Hovr lets you to move your legs and simulate walking while staying seated.
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The Hovr is a pretty simple apparatus, really. It’s a pair of suspended circular foot pads connected by a metal bar, which is attached to an adjustable strap. Depending on the model, you can either mount the device to the bottom of your desk, or buy a portable unit attached to a plastic stand. Users place their feet on the floating pads and move their legs around; you can pretend you’re walking or swing your legs in any direction. Of course, there’s also a companion app for iOS and Android, which allows you to track your movement and set daily “walking” goals.
While it looks like the kind of snake oil you’d expect to see on an infomercial, it turns out there are experts backing up Hovr’s efficacy: The device has been certified as a form of Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis by the Mayo Clinic , which is basically a fancy way of saying that using it counts as moving. According to the company, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that using the Hovr caused users to burn 17-percent more calories than completely sedentary sitters.
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Those endorsements may explain the device’s popularity: The Hovr hit its $30,000 crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo in just three days. As of Thursday afternoon, the device raised more than $40,000. Its success prompted Hovr to set a campaign stretch goal; if it raises $60,000 before closing next month, all users will be allowed to choose the color of their Hovrs. It comes in Black, Red, Blue, and Pink.
Indiegogo customers can pre-order the mountable version of the Hovr for $44, and the “portable” stand-based unit costs $79. According to the company, those prices will rise after the campaign. The Hovr is expected to ship to backers in July.