The effect of holographic wristbands on body balance
Balance is a complex ability essential for the performance of any motor task and for preventing injuries and falls. The appearance of holographic wristbands, the supposed benefits of which include improved balance, received the attention of the public and the media alike. However, there is no scientific evidence that holograms improve any physical attribute. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Power Balance® holographic wristbands on balance. Following a triple-blind method, 25 healthy and physically active university students (14 women, 11 men) underwent the sensory organization test (SOT) on two separate days while wearing a wristband with or without holograms (the tests being performed in a random but counterbalanced order). The SOT provides details on total balance and the relative contribution of the three main sensory systems (somatosensory, vestibular and visual) involved in balance. The results for the group as a whole revealed the wearing of a holographic wristband to have no significant effect on any of these variables. However, when the women¿s results were analyzed separately, the wearing of holographic wristbands was associated with significant differences in the scores of two SOT variables: composite balance (86.5±3.7 with the holographic wristband compared to 85.5±4.5 without it; p¿0.05) and overall mean (93.5±2.0 compared to 92.8±2.4; p¿0.05). Although these statistical differences were discovered, the magnitude of these differences was so small that balance could not have been improved in any practical sense. In conclusion, Power Balance® holographic wristbands exert no meaningful effect on balance in healthy young adults.