Can this free-hanging footrest meet the same ends as a standing desk?

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Individuals using the Hovr are said to burn the same amount or slightly more calories as they would using standing desk

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Under-desk exercisers, such as the PediGlide or the Cubii, have been touted as a solution to the sedentary lifestyle affecting the health of people who work in offices. The Hovr is another take on the idea, providing a free-hanging footrest that encourages absent-minded movement of the legs.

Developed in partnership with the Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois, the Hovr is aimed at increasing the amount a person moves without them having to leave their desk or even be conscious of movement.

The exerciser is available with an independent stand or a mount that attaches to the bottom of a desk. On both versions, a strap with two discs hangs down, with the user able to adjust the length of the strap and the distance between the discs. Once the Hovr is installed and set up, the user needs only place their feet on the footrest to supposedly benefit from its natural swinging motion.

The company claims that using the Hovr can burn around the same or slightly more calories compared to using a standing desk, but without any pressure on your joints. The company also pitches the device as letting you burn 17 percent or more calories compared to normal sitting, but you'll see some fine print there qualifying that statement with "depending on the person" (you could add that fine print to just about any marketing claim to make it "true").

While light movement will indeed burn more calories than no movement, it's hard to see the casual swinging motion we see in the company's promo video as making a huge difference towards your daily exercise goals. We suspect you could swing your legs and fidget on your own to burn similar amounts of calories.

The company is also making an optional activity tracker that lets you count your steps and distance while using the device – letting users set goals, as well as measure distance traveled, calories burned and daily progress. The marketing image above shows an Apple Watch running a tracking app as well, though the pitch is curiously lacking any mention of smartwatch apps.

An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the Hovr us under way. At the time of writing, pledges for a desk-mounted Hovr start at US$44 and for one with a stand at $79. Assuming all goes to plan with the roll-out, shipping is expected from July.

The video below is the Indiegogo pitch for the Hovr.

Sources: Hovr, Indiegogo

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