Bounce Back Chair — What are people’s experience?

Last weekend while cleaning up storage, I came across our old Bounce Back Chair. A device that looks like below:

The reason we go it was that it was recommend by Dr.Cheney in 1998, 1999,

“Less ill patients can add aerobic exercises between five-minute periods of bouncing per the videotape instructions. Its advantages include correcting dysautonmia, the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system that underlies many of the symptoms in CFIDS. The Bounce Back Chair was studied by NASA to treat astronauts returning from orbit who fainted upon standing. After six months in orbit, you lose your autonomic nervous system capacity to stand in a gravitational field. You simply faint and seize. If you remember these astronauts, when they took them out of the capsule they had to drag them out vertically because they would faint on standing. They end up with a dysautonomic condition similar to chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

NASA figured out that the best way to bring back the autonomic nerve system was to bounce. So they put them in these bungee cord contraptions and they just bounced them–this up and down motion essentially regulates autonomic tone and improves the autonomic nervous system. Rebound exercise is very easy, it’s non-weight bearing, and you can add in arms, legs and abdominal motion while bouncing, to tolerance. It also improves immune regulation by pumping lymphatic fluid back into the blood. Lymph acts just like gamma globulin. Finally, this exercise was shown by NASA to be 68% more efficient as an exercise routine than running. (“Efficient” means maximum gain for minimum effort.) It is therefore ideal for people with little energy to spare. Those who do not suffer from balance problems can achieve many of the same benefits from a mini-trampoline.” [1998/1999]

Well, I reassembled it and use it well watching TV. In general, I feel better after bouncing for a while.

I went over to PubMed and found a single study with inconclusive results when it was combined with some 6 other alternative therapies. The best that I could find was:

  • “Up to now, underlying mechanisms are poorly understood although decreased gastrointestinal blood flow, neuro-immuno-endocrine alterations, increased gastrointestinal motility, and mechanical bouncing during exercise are postulated. Future research on exercise associated digestive processes should give more insight into the relationship between physical activity and the function of the gastrointestinal tract.” [2001]
  • “Well-designed prospective randomized trials evaluating the risks and benefits of exercise and physical activity on gastrointestinal disorders are recommended for future research.” [2011]

The cost is unreasonable high given the actual construction. More fashionable chairs that seem to emulate the same concept, the Swopper are even more expensive.

Reviewing the various boards, the feedback appears to be good.

Alternative for people in europe:


Depending on the amount of bounce, the top cords could be replaced with bungee-type cords

If you find one at a charity organization, pick it up and try it. There is no PubMed evidence supporting its use