Health Gadgets, from the Goofy to Gotta-Have

Oregon-made fitness and sleep trackers, the ultimate standing desk mat, and...faux yoga mat bag beer coolers?

By Allison Jones March 4, 2015

Anti-Fatigue Mats for Standing Desks from SmartCells USA: This Chehalis, Washington-based brand makes top-of-the-line mats that bear little resemblance to the squishy foam mats many standing-desk users rely on. The difference? Instead of compressing when weight is place on them, these mats are made up of a matrix of responsive, spring-like rubber tubes that become softer when compressed and never bottom out—you can even bounce a raw egg off of them (seriously, we tried). Similar technology is used around playground equipment, on helicopter landing pads, and in personal training studios around the country. Mats start at $100

Posture-Correcting Brace from Posture Now: These Portland-designed straps were featured on ABC's Shark Tank, and use adjustable straps that bind around the upper arms (instead of the shoulders) and across the back to gently pull your shoulders back and create new muscle memory for better posture. Founders Matt Franklin and Mike Lane claim they can be used under jackets—but real-life testing proved them to be a bit awkward to wear around the office. They do have a money-back guarantee, so if posture's a problem they may be worth a shot: $39.95

Oregon Scientific Ssmart Dynamo 2+ Fitness Band: This band is a dream for runners and cyclists who want a full report on their daily activity, combining measurements of heart rate, active minutes, steps, distance, calories burned, sleep tracking—it can even send bragging rights straight to social media with a single tap and alert you when you have a new email or text message. The downside? Like most fitness trackers it doesn't account for strength training, yoga, or more subtle forms of exercise. $99

Active Edge Survival Straps Bracelets: These military-spec paracord bracelets claim to use "low-frequency technology" to increase range of motion, flexibility, and balance as well as reduce pain and inflammation. Some folks even use them as dog collars for arthritic pups. Our results were mixed—some testers found it did give a boost of energy and balance, others experienced immediate headaches. Is it all imaginary? Who knows, but the US Department of Defence is interested enough to start trials. Either way, they do look pretty cool, and in a pinch someone who knows how to use it could save a life. So, erm, anyone out there know how to use a paracord? Multiple colors, starting at $59.99

Yoga Mat Beer Cooler: This "gadget" is going to be a hit with all those beer drinkers who want to pretend they are doing something healthy for their body instead of drinking a six pack. Yeah, we don't get it, either. $21.95
Filed under
Show Comments