This NASA study, which confirms the extraordinary fitness benefits of bouncing, helped to bring rebounding to the awareness of the American public.
The widespread interest that followed the publication of this research created a huge demand for fitness trampolines and a national shortage. As a result, an estimated one million, cheaply-made spring rebounders were imported to the United States during the first few years of the 1980s. The extremely poor quality and performance of rebounders from this period made them ineffective and user-unfriendly, turning what might have been a revolution in fitness into a fad.
The first bellicon, created in 1995, pioneered the use of bungee cords for mini-trampolines, revolutionizing the industry. The bellicon’s customized bungees create a much smoother, deeper bounce than spring rebounders and allow it to better aproximate the performance and benefits of full-sized trampolines, like the ones used in the NASA study.
Because it’s an academic paper, written with the assumption that it would be read only by other scientists and researchers, it can make for a difficult read, but it does contain a wealth of information about the benefits of bouncing. It goes into detail about oxygen consumption and muscular involvement, and concludes that bouncing provides better all-around benefits than running. The researchers conclude by saying, “The results indicate that, for similar levels of HR and VO2, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running.”
Here’s a link to an abstract of the study on a research website: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7429911/
„Body acceleration distribution and O2 uptake in humans during running and jumping.“, von A. Bhattacharyae, P. McCutcheon, E. Shvartz und J. E. Greenleaf
Biomedical Research Division, NASA-Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California 94035; und Wenner-Gren Research Laboratory, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506