Jump – It’s Good For You


Most people spend hours each day indoors and a lot of the time it’s behind a desk.  Most of our jobs these days require a great deal of computer work and then more time is spent commuting back and forth to and from work.  The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS) was commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and found that most people spent at least 93% of their time indoors or in a car.  Global studies are showing that people are sitting at least 7.7 hours a day, on average, and as much as 15 hours a day.  Egotron commissioned a new survey that found 76% dislike sitting all day and when getting up at work, 56% use getting food as an excuse.  This survey revealed that Americans were sitting an average of 13 hours each day.

Well, there’s help out there for all of us sitting so much.  According to research sitting is an independent risk factor for poor health and premature death, even when exercising regularly. Sometimes motivation is difficult.  

Julie Schiffman believes using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to overcome obstacles that may impact your exercise routines or desire to start moving.  The Arthritis Foundation says that every pound of excess weight places an additional 4 pounds of pressure on your knees when walking.  Running places an even greater amount of stress on your knees.  Even a little amount of extra weight can put a significant amount of stress on your knees when running.  A trampoline offers an alternative.  It gives under your weight and absorbs some of the impact on your joints, but continues to offer a cardiovascular and core strengthening workout.

Jumping may be the answer for us.  A study commissioned by NASA compared the oxygen uptake and body distribution between running and jumping on a mini-trampoline.  They were intending to find a form of exercise that could reduce the effects of deconditioning of their astronauts while in a weightless environment.  The results showed the athletes experienced the greatest amount of stress in their ankles and legs while running.  The force on a trampoline was more equally distributed between the lower legs and the back and head.  These were lower forces than running but at the same oxygen uptake.  

Osteoporosis is responsible for nearly 9 million fractures and affecting 200 million worldwide and 75 million in the U.S., Europe and Japan.  Recent research demonstrates that jumping 20 times a day may have a significant impact on your risk of osteoporosis.  After 8 weeks they found a demonstrable change in bone mineral density in their subjects.  Jumping on a trampoline may gradually reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

Jumping on a rebounder also improves your balance and may increase the mitochondrial biogenesis in your cells.  This will increase your resistance to fatigue and improve your health, as well as increase your mitochondrial biogenesis in your brain, which will reduce your risk for fatigue and dementia.

Design yourself a workout to fit your needs by jumping on a rebounder or trampoline. Following are some recommended exercises keeping your knees bent and your feet sshoulder-widthapart with your head in line with your spine:

  • Warm up by jumping gently for a minute with arms at your side
  • Oblique twist. While jumping it will work on your oblique muscles
  • Straight jumps to engage your entire body to stay straight and in control
  • Rocking on the rebounder is good for your core and a break from jumping
  • Jumping jacks is great on a rebounder
  • Lateral skiing using the motion of skiing may leave you breathless

Let’s all strive to do a few jumps every day on a trampoline or rebounder to keep up the exercise for our health, while protecting our knees from stress at the same time.  This might be a good way to start the day as well as ending it, before we hit that bed.  It is hard to motivate ourselves to exercise, but maybe by jumping it will end up being more fun and might just change the way we view exercise.

-Dr Fredda Branyon