Please contact Kaoru Harada for any questions or comments.
HOVR was designed by co-founders John Godoy and Ron Mochizuki to help their clients and patients to have a healthy impact on their lives at home and in the workplace. Little did they know that one of our earliest user groups of HOVR would be students. Without any marketing we started to receive inquiries from educators, based on their daily experiences, that the movement produced by the HOVR would be useful in the classroom. That opinion and interest grew steadily and now there are whole classes of children using HOVRs! Included in this section are articles and videos from teachers along with feedback we have received about the growing movement for HOVRs in the classroom. We are gratified to hear about HOVR being used in this way.
Exploring the connection between HOVR & ADD/ADHD
By Tess Tyton, M.S. Kinesiology, University of Illinois at Chicago
Demographic Target: Adults and children with ADHD/ADD, or who have Sensory Processing Disorders, who work in sedentary environments (i.e. classrooms, offices)
- The National Institute of Mental Health defines Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
- According to epidemiological data, approx. 5% of adults have ADHD (11,000,000 in the U.S.)
- Persists throughout a person’s lifetime, not limited to just children.
- ADHD is recognized as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Higher than normal incidence of learning disorders in the ADHD population, increasing the need for academic/workplace accommodations.
- Challenging for both children and adults to sit for long periods of time and focus attention on one task.
- Root causes of ADHD are neurobiological, its manifestations happen in the day-to-day functioning. Problems in school and workplace arise from environmental expectations, conditions, and triggers– implicating a need for change in environment.
- Research has shown that small repetitive activities can increase the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that increase our ability to focus and pay attention.
- Many customers (parents and teachers) have inquired about the HOVR product for their children with ADHD/ADD and Autism.
- Actual email from customer: “Today’s students often need movement while being expected to sit still and be quiet. We have block hours, which means that students are often expected to sit in one place for an hour and a half. So far, what I have seen is that this device is helping some of them tremendously. It is keeping some of them in the classroom when they would normally be removed for being disruptive. I will continue to collect data and I am completely willing to write up a more formal report of my findings in about a month.”
- Customers have routinely commented that HOVR has helped them with focus and productivity.
“Fidgets” and HOVR
- Sydney Zentall, Ph.D., of Purdue University has studied factors to help ADHD children succeed in the classroom. According to Zentall, an activity that uses a sense other than that required for the primary task can enhance performance in children with ADHD. Known as distractions, or “fidgets”– mindless activities you can do while working on an ordinary task.
- Fidgets are “playful, secondary interactions able to engage the interrelation of bodily movement, affective state, and cognition to support primary serious tasks.”
- Can be used for calming, alerting, focusing, concentration, decrease stress.
- HOVR movement can serve as the additional sensory – motor input is stimulating, interesting, and/or entertaining, which allows our brains (especially ADHD brains) to become engaged and sustain focus on the primary task in which we are participating.
- Can be considered as a “foot fidget”.
- Previous research indicates that some kind of physical movement is a way to increase dopamine and/or noradrenergic activity in the brain.
- Research and testimonies imply that teachers, parents, employers, etc. should consider socially acceptable methods of movement that permits these individuals to squirm and fidget without disrupting others.
- HOVR is a prime example of an effective method of movement that does just that.
- HOVR may assist in managing sensory exposure and increasing levels of neurotransmitters which increase ability to focus and pay attention.
- Many existing “fidget” products are sold through Amazon and The Therapy Shoppe, an online store specializing in special education.
- Promoted by platforms such as the ADDitude website, National Autism Resources, and Edutopia, and Digital Trends.
- Research being conducted at MIT and NYU on “Fidget” toys/tools that increase productivity, focus, and attention.
- NYU & UC Santa Cruz — Fidget Widget project
In conclusion, the HOVR could have widespread effect on classroom and workplace performance for the entire population, not just the target demographic. Benefits of the HOVR include portability, slim profile, affordability, and its multi-functionality. Users can silently bounce, swivel side-to-side, up and down, etc. in a non-disruptive way. This is ideal for classrooms and the workplace. Future directions may include conducting studies that assess if using a HOVR would increase attention and focus in children/adults with ADD/ADHD in sedentary environments. By increasing knowledge of ADHD and other learning disorders, we may be able to assist families, psychologists and neuroscientists on developing unique and innovative personalized treatments for adults and children.
Articles of Interest
Are Fidget Toys Legitimately Good for Your Brain, or Pseudoscientific Snake Oil? – March 8, 2017 – http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/fidget-helps-concentration/
Benefits of Fidgets – http://www.additudemag.com/adhdblogs/4/6606.html
Don’t Stop the Movement – http://www.chadd.org/Membership/Attention-Magazine/Attention-Magazine-Article.aspx?id=672
HOVR and the Educators who support it
A senior South side elementary school principal, Dr. Sufurat Giwa, asked us to let her pupils use our early prototype of HOVR two years ago. She had a “hunch” that it would appeal to children who are not able to get as much physical activity as she believed was natural and necessary.
Recent correspondence from an elementary school teacher who is enthusiastic about her experience with HOVR
“Hi John! …
Over the 14 years I have been teaching, the shift in students has been paramount and teachers, educators, doctors and scientists all across our country have been investigating why our children now are decreasing so rapidly in their attention spans, their ability to attend, focus, delve deeper, the rise of ADHD and ADD. While they know our world has changed so much with on spot demand, immediate gratification, cell phones, ipads, gaming, less activity etc. – they realize this a huge factor. The role in education has now shifted – educators across the world now focus on developing and shifting ideology – knowing our students need movement, activity, and flexibility.
The interesting component, our brains vestibular system which controls our sense of balance and movement is the area for kids especially that is critical in the ability to learn, retain information and focus. And with children sitting in seats more and staring at screens and being less active, they are activating this center of the brain less and less. If the vestibular system is underdeveloped, a child may not be able to sit in a seat for instruction as long, lose focus, or focus more on the task of trying to sit still and focus instead of trying to take in what a teacher is teaching.
Balance abilities in brain reaches towards maximum development from birth through 12 years old, and if we are able to provide students with the capability of using these units during all of those ages in their education as they sit in desks all day, we are changing their lives, their ability to learn – and really reforming education. This is a small piece of a larger entity of benefits in which I will be sharing and continuing to share….
My students who have trialed these at our back tables in small groups also have the same feedback. They love these units. Students who have a hard time focusing are able to vocalize and say things like, “I used to have a hard time paying attention to my work or doing my schoolwork, but when I set here I don’t feel antsy, I feel relaxed and I don’t get fidgety. I can focus so much more and get a lot more done.”
Thank you as always for your time John. I am excited for us to start something very big and I hope you can see the potential. I know how it can change lives and the future of education, and I am willing and eager to make that happen.”