Efficacy of the Ionic Balance band to improve selected health and fitness parameters following a two week exposure intervention: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
MacDonald, Findlay Ross
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MACDONALD, F.R. 2016. Efficacy of the Ionic Balance band to improve selected health and fitness parameters following a two week exposure intervention: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Robert Gordon University, MRes thesis.
A recent trend has seen products marketed towards the health and fitness industry that proclaim beneficial effects through properties and mechanisms more commonly associated with complementary and alternative medicine. These claims are largely unsubstantiated with a lack of scientific research to support them. The Ionic Balance Band is one of several relatively new products that would appear to have a more plausible basis for an effect based upon the available literature. The Ionic Balance Band is claimed to improve the health and function of its wearer through generation of negative air ions, far infrared rays and alpha waves. This study investigated the efficacy of the Ionic Balance Band to improve selected health and fitness parameters following a two week exposure intervention under randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions. A sample of 60 men and women, consisting primarily of sport and exercise science students, were randomly assigned to wear an Ionic Balance Band or a placebo control band for a two week period between pre- and post-test sessions. The test battery assessed physical performance parameters of; balance, lower and upper body power, muscular strength, anaerobic power and heart rate recovery as well as cognitive function and general health outcomes. Analysis of the data revealed that no significant improvements were gained from wearing an Ionic Balance Band compared to a placebo control band for any of the parameters assessed. The results did not support the claims of improved health or function that have been anecdotally reported from wearing an Ionic Balance Band. Further research is required to evaluate and understand the broader efficacy of negative air ions, far infrared rays and alpha waves to provide beneficial effects.