Can Trampolines Improve Your Health?

When I was a kid, my parents were pretty generous in the activity and toy department.  I honestly don’t remember wanting to do or be involved in something that they turned down…well Mom…because we all know who makes the decisions.  However, there was one line I couldn’t get her to cross, and that was getting a trampoline.  Back in the day you didn’t have to have the cages around them, but they did mess up a huge patch of grass.  So, that was a no-no in the beautiful backyard oasis department.  However, my friend that lived next door had one, and I’m pretty sure kids can jump on those things for hours without getting bored.  Ah the fond memories.

Fast forward 20 years later and I find myself at a trampoline park, bouncing my heart out with a few gems from the new generation.  I have read some articles about rebounding and how it’s good for your health, I’ve watched really funny workout videos where people are on trampolines with sweatbands, and I even had a small trampoline in my PT room at the chiropractic clinic to help with rehab, but is this rebounding thing actually good for your health?  Much of the studies done to prove that it’s beneficial were done of astronauts because when they come back to Earth, they were having issues with injuries trying to retrain their bodies to acclimate to gravity.

Anyway, that data basically says that the change in velocity that you receive when you rebound off of something has systemic health benefits.  However, other than that, I feel like the data out there really only shows the same amount of benefit you’d get from doing any other form of exercise!

The benefits that I could see over other forms of exercise are:

  • dispersed impact, so less injuries (although tell that to the kids that break their ankles landing wrong or on each other!)
  • it’s fun!  and doesn’t really require any skill
  • you could likely do it despite many types of injuries, so that’s a positive in rehab
  • it trains your feet, which we often support to the point of weakness when barefoot
  • you can get the same amount of cardiovascular improvement or more than running with less work from your heart

Conditions I love rebounding for:

  • Musculoskeletal rehab
  • Heart patients
  • Osteoporosis
  • Training the nervous system for balance and proprioception

Otherwise, I hate to burst the rebounding bubble, but I don’t think it’s any more beneficial for your health than other forms of activity.  I will say that I laughed the entire couple hours of jumping though and felt like a kid for second, so there’s that. So, before you invest in something that could take up lots of space or burn patches in your yard, decide if you’re just as excited to do another activity.  I may opt for an alternative, however, a little part of my soul is probably secreting still requesting a trampoline on every Christmas list.