I admit it: last year I mocked Brookstone's OSIM iGallop and Panasonic's JOBA, both horse-riding fitness machines. I even tested one out at CES last year and just felt completely ridiculous sitting on a saddle-like seat with my feet in stirups.
Needless to say, I'm putting my foot in my mouth. Panasonic released a study conducted by researcher Neil Wolkodoff, PhD, which involved 11 participants ages 35 to 60. Each participant rode Panasonic's third-generation horse-riding fitness machine, the Panasonic Core Trainer EU6441A, for 15 minutes a day, five days a week, for two months. Here's what he found: "The Core Trainer performed beyond my expectations. Not only were the changes in core strength and flexibility statistically significant, but VO2 [endurance] levels also increased, while participants experienced a positive change in body composition. Core Trainer study participants showed results with 15 minutes of daily use that some more aggressive products don't show in the regularly recommended 30 minutes a day." See above for percentages of the results.