A Chicago-based startup is pitching a healthier way to sit, one that’s higher-tech than a rubber ball but less distracting than a treadmill desk. Hovr has created an eponymous device that attaches to a desk or a portable stand and lets users rotate their legs as they sit.
On Tuesday, the company launched a monthlong Indiegogo campaign, aiming to raise $30,000. By Friday morning, the campaign had raised more than $60,000.
Dr. Ron Mochizuki and personal trainer John Godoy designed the product after they saw how sitting all day affected their clients and patients.
“We weren’t getting the results that we wanted to see with our clients and our patients who were really suffering from being in an office all day long,” Mochizuki said. “We started looking for ways that we could improve that and realized there’s nothing in the market that really fit the bill.”
The company worked with industrial designers to create the device, which costs $44 with a desk mount through the Indiegogo campaign.
Hovr says University of Illinois at Chicago researchers are studying the device, but those results haven’t yet been published. The company says the UIC research shows that users burn 17 percent more calories than normal sitting and experience no loss in cognitive productivity.
The devices will be produced in Tennessee with Chinese-made molds, then assembled in Chicago, the company said.
Mochizuki and Godoy said their first major focus will be to sell to workplaces, but a Chicago school also has shown interest.
Another target could be gamers.
“Video games are not necessarily that healthy — if you can be able to do some of the movement on the video game using your legs, on the Hovr, it makes the game more immersive and healthy,” Godoy said.