Are 59 must-have sports bands a waste of money Bracelet did nothing to improve skills of amateur rugby playerThe bracelets have become the latest must-have among amateur athletes hoping to improve their performance
23:57 GMT, 3 September 2012
To the uninitiated, they look like ordinary black bracelets.
And that, it would seem, is exactly what some so-called sports bands are – despite their hefty price tag.
The bracelets have become the latest must-have among amateur athletes hoping to improve their performance.
Power: To the uninitiated, they look like ordinary black bracelets. And that, it would seem, is exactly what some so-called sports bands are despite their hefty price tag
But sports bracelets may be nothing more than an expensive con.
Tests of a 59 black bangle made by Shuzi showed it to do nothing to improve the skill and accuracy of an amateur rugby player.
The bangle is one of a range which contain a chip said to have been programmed to make the cells in the blood separate, boosting circulation.
This it is claimed, can improve balance, strength, concentration, flexibility and energy.
The company, which also makes collars and charms for pets, says in a factsheet: ‘Shuzi is a personal energy system that helps bring your whole being into a state of balance where your body is stronger, your thoughts are clearer and your endurance levels are increased.
‘Simply put, Shuzi just makes you feel better and harmonises your mind and body so that you bring your best to whatever you do.
‘Whether you are an athlete, student, parent or business executive—Shuzi will help your overall well-being.’
Result: Tests of a 59 black bangle made by Shuzi showed it to do nothing to improve the skill and accuracy of an amateur rugby player
Actress Jennifer Ellison was spotted a black Shuzi bracelet while taking part in Dancing on Ice earlier this year.
The Merseyside Skeptics Society bought two of the bracelets and removed the chip from one.
They then asked a semi-professional rugby player to take 100 conversion kicks -50 wearing the intact bracelet and 50 wearing the one missing the supposedly vital chip.
Star appeal: Actress Jennifer Ellison was spotted a black Shuzi bracelet while taking part in Dancing on Ice earlier this year
Crucially, he did not know which bracelet was which and it was impossible to tell just by looking at them.
The results showed the Shuzi chip to make little or no difference to his performance.
Michael Marshall, the society’s vice-president, said: ‘If the claims Shuzi made about their products are true, we’d expect to see a marked improvement in the performance of our athlete when wearing a “real” wristband.
‘That there was no clear difference suggests to us what we’ve suspected all along – the bands are little more than an expensive sports fad, backed up by a raft claims that may sound like science but are actually non-sensical techno-babble.’
Sports bracelets have hit the headlines before, with the charity Sense About Science questioning the effectiveness of the 29.99 Power Balance bands worn by the likes of David Beckham.
And, last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warned consumers to be wary of products that make unsubstantiated claims ‘when they may be no more beneficial than a rubber band’.
Last night, a spokesman for Shuzi said the company is updating the claims made on its UK website.
He added that getting a rugby player to kick a ball was not the right way to use the bands.