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The Hawaii Chair

*Est. $235
Reviewed
August 2011
by ConsumerSearch

You're better off exercising the old-fashioned way.

Pros
  • May improve blood circulation
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not realistic for office use
  • Does not live up to fitness claims

The Hawaii Chair (also called the Hula Chair) is advertised as an easy exercise option for those who don't like to work out. It looks like a desk chair, but the seat rotates in a circular motion, causing the sitter to simulate the movements of a hula dancer. This is supposed to strengthen the user's abdominal muscles, slimming the waist and increasing blood circulation. The commercial even claims that the Hawaii Chair can be used in an office and won't interfere with performing routine activities like typing or using the phone.

There aren't many user reviews available for the Hawaii Chair, but those who have tried it say it comes up short in almost all of its claims. The rotating seat is much too strong to make performing any work tasks possible -- reviewers have compared it to both a carnival ride and a mechanical bull. The chair also doesn't seem to offer any real fitness benefits in terms of toning ab muscles. At best, reviewers speculate, the Hawaii Chair may improve blood circulation for those with mobility problems.

Linda Dahlstrom, a health editor for MSNBC.com, tests the Hawaii Chair in her office and is unable to perform even the most basic tasks due to the violent motion of the chair. She also consults with an in-house fitness expert, who negates the fitness claims made by the Hawaii Chair. Personal trainer Karen Wendler reviews the Hawaii Chair on Examiner.com and says there are several much cheaper fitness solutions that will offer better results than the Hawaii Chair.

Our Sources

1. MSNBC

Linda Dahlstrom, a health editor for MSNBC.com, tests the Hawaii Chair at the office to see if it offers a decent workout. She finds the chair motion to be so jarring that she is unable to type or hold a phone and talk. Dahlstrom also interviews fitness expert Jay Blahnik, who says the chair won't tone ab muscles but may improve the circulation of someone who limited mobility.

Review: Hula Chair: Sitting Down Gets Dangerous, Linda Dahlstrom, June 5, 2008

2. Examiner.com

Karen Wendler, a certified personal trainer, discusses whether the Hawaii Chair is a legitimate piece of workout equipment, although she does not conduct a hands-on test. She says the chair could be beneficial for those with mobility problems who are looking to stimulate blood circulation, but the Hawaii Chair doesn't offer any exercise benefits.

Review: The Hawaii Chair: Ha-Why Would It Be Useful?, Karen Wendler, March 6, 2009

3. The Ellen Show

Talk show host Ellen Degeneres tests the Hawaii Chair in front of a studio audience. Setting the chair on high speed, she attempts to pour a glass of water and do other office tasks. Slipping and sliding all over the place, Ellen asks an audience member to sit on another Hawaii chair and test it with her. As they both are bounced around in their chairs, Ellen discusses the so-called benefits of the chair to the audience's amusement.

Review: The Hawaii Chair, Ellen DeGeneres, Oct. 21, 2010

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