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article imageOp-Ed: Time to take Kangoo Jumps boots seriously? Yes, for your health.

By Paul Wallis     Apr 17, 2017 in Health
Sydney - The first “bouncing” boots were basically strong rubber bands under shoes. They’ve changed a lot. The new “revelation” is that these boots could also be a unintentional revolution in human health.
The new Kangoo Jumps boots (also not very helpfully known as kangaroo boots and jump boots, which are totally different types of conventional boots) first came on the market in around 2010-12. They didn’t get much more than novelty value attention from the media. Now, they’re going mainstream in fitness, and it looks like they’re very much underrated, in some surprising ways.
Kangoo Jumps are designed for exercise, and fun. One of the reasons most people don’t exercise enough is that they also don’t feel like killing themselves in the process. So, add some literal spring in your step, and what happens?
This happens:
1. Less physical strain in exercise, critical for unfit people who could hurt themselves with over-exertion.
2. More mobility adding desperately needed fun to the exercise.
3. Great coordination, and good muscle workouts without even trying.
4. Excellent aerobic values: Every move improves oxygenation, like aerobics. (Jump boots are now used in aerobics classes around the world, and people love them The boots have been used for aerobics for years.)
Consider the fact that it takes about 200 muscles to walk a step. Many of these muscles are fine tuners, but also includes balance, back, joints, etc. If you’re the average 21st century person, your muscles can be in any kind of condition, from truly excellent to staggeringly lousy. Anything which helps you to tune up your muscles will inevitably have strong positive effects.
The fitness rehab effect
Exercise is in fact muscle expansion and contraction. Add some spring to that process, and you get much more value. Strength is developed faster, too. For a society which drives everywhere and uses the legs and feet much less than the natural levels, extra exercise is a must. You can literally un-exercise yourself in to a dangerous state.
Worse, lack of strength inevitably produces fatigue much faster and therefore puts your whole body under strain. If you know the difference between fit and unfit, you don’t need to be told what a hideous experience that is. You also probably know all too well how much work is required to get yourself back in shape by conventional exercise.
That can be scary. If you’re a larger person, your weight will punish you for being out of shape. It can also kill you, if you overdo your exercises. You need to exercise in a realistic way to achieve goals and rebuild your fitness.
So – Add an easier, less demanding way of exercising, and your rebuild will be safer, as well as more efficient. Kangoo Jumps boots also just happen to work directly on key muscle groups. Every muscle related to walking will be affected. Good idea? Great idea.
Recovery rehab
The other thing that struck me when I first saw the new generation boots was startling, to say the least. It was that for people who’ve had accidents, need help with walking, and need encouragement with walking again, these boots could deliver clear exercise values. Equally importantly, they could deliver another critical value – Confidence.
Obviously, this sort of rehab requires strict care and proper precautions against possible further injury. You’d have to uses guard rail runways, etc. That said - Consider a less murderous, much more efficient, much less resented, holistic type of physio. 200 muscles, coordinated, and working together getting good value out of every step. Good option?
The Fun Factor – Fun saves lives? It really could.
Give human beings credit for one thing, if nothing else – Fun is always welcome. The boots are obviously great fun. Exercise + fun has to add up to a range of good results. Add the lowered fear of the effects of exercise as a result of less actual effort, and you’ve got a winner.
For 21st century kids, this fun factor could save their lives. It could reduce the risk of serious acquired conditions simply because they can have fun doing real exercises. They don’t even have to know they’re exercising. They can improve muscle coordination, get more oxygen, and improve musculature development.
A caveat – I’d be wary of Kangoo Jumps boots for very young kids who may not have the muscle controls to manage sudden springs which they don’t know how to control. The notorious “trampoline effect” needs good skills to manage.
The ability of kids to collide with anything and everything has to be respected, so maybe not Kangoo boots for the active but not yet focused kids. You could even make it a milestone, “When you’re older, you can have your own Kangoo boots”, making it a real personal achievement.
Accidents and risks
People have been injured wearing these boots. The causes of injury, however, are indicative. A guy was injured on a German game show trying to somersault over several cars wearing the boots. Exercise? No. Fun? Not that time. Damn stupid idea? Yes.
Impact, collision and uncoordinated actions are the most likely causes of injuries. This means:
1. Be realistic about using your boots. You’ll need time to learn how to walk in them, and develop the reflexes.
2. Use your Kangoo boots in safe spaces only.
3. Have as much fun as you like, just don’t be stupid.
4. Don’t use your boots in risky environments until you’re able to manage risks.
5. If you have a health condition, check with your doctor for things like heart conditions, etc. Don’t guess about possible health negatives, make sure it’s OK.
Competitive sport values? Maybe more than anyone guessed
The other, truly fascinating possibility for Kangoo Jumps boots is that they could be used in real athletic competition. You’d need very good athletes, but the boots could add dimensions nobody’s even considered. Can you jump over a quarterback? Can you dodge a rugby scrum? Can you have fabulous visual performances? I’d say you couldn’t avoid it.
Many top athletes already spend more time in the air than on the ground. Add some spring, and who knows? You could have whole new games based on Kangoo Jumps boots, or reinvent older games using them.
You could also have some pretty hectic safety issues. Being spear tackled in mid air by a guy weighing 300 pounds wearing these boots would be pretty memorable. So would crashing in to a barrier. You’d need good protection, joint guards, and real anti-concussive helmets, strong karate mat-style barriers, etc.
Let’s face it, though – If it’s fun, people will do it. My verdict is that you can enjoy it and survive it without getting hurt, there’s no limit. If you accidentally happen to get healthy while you’re at it, no problem.
For the record I have no relationship at all with the makers of Kangoo Jumps boots. I wish I did, because I’d like to grab a pair for myself.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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