Fitness Dunsels

Cat on an exercise device

Commercials and infomercials for "fitness" products have been around for decades. Clearly, people are buying them! Even though they're almost always useless. (Hence, the post title. If you're not up on your Star Trek, here's some background.)

I've written before about the myth of spot reduction. But it's not the only claimed benefit used to tout "fitness" products.

One I've been seeing for a while now is "Cubii" ... a "seated elliptical" device. My favorite part of the pitch is the reference to "sitting is the new smoking" to point out how bad sitting can be. So they provide a device you use while...sitting. Huh.

Their website also includes the claim "Burn an average of 150 calories per hour." I'm not sure where they get that, but people burn calories all the time...even whilst sleeping. For the elderly, having the person out of bed and sitting in a chair may be considered "exercise" because it requires more effort to sit upright than to lay down.

I found one site that lists calories burned doing various things whilst sitting. I don't know how they came up with these numbers but for "sitting down, fidgeting feet" the estimate is around 150 calories per hour. In any case, you don't need equipment to burn calories and it shouldn't be the goal of exercise anyway; it's just a side-effect.

This was WAY before Cubii.

It's possible that devices like this could be of some use to some people. But given the number of times the commercial is still airing, it's clearly selling to far more people than it should. That's the case for every other "fitness" product I've seen advertised like this.

These are products that are marketed to inactive people who want the easy illusion of becoming active. This differs from products like Peloton that market to active people who want another way to be active. (I'm not advocating Peloton; just using it as an example of a different kind of product.)

It would be a full-time job to keep up with all of the questionable (to put it nicely) "fitness" products being hawked on TV. (The 60uP Balance Board and the Simply Fit Board come to mind.) Not to mention the various supplements (Super Beets!). The regulations around claims of a product's benefits are very lax.

Preparing to deadlift a barbell
Use what works.

We don't need any of this stuff. For equipment, it's best to stick with the basics being described in the StrongFast "Home Equipment" series. Here's the list so far.

Meanwhile...caveat emptor.

Be seeing you.

-gary

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