Sitting at a desk for 5–6 hours a day can be hard for anyone, let alone a young, energetic student in a classroom. So, how can a student release his or her energy while still learning? Former school counselor, Scott Ertl, used his career experience to come up with a bouncy solution. In 2014, Ertl founded “Bouncy Bands,” and students, teachers, and parents are finding them to be a great success.
“As a counselor for 18 years, I worked with kids who didn’t know what to do with their extra energy, anxiety, or frustrations in school. I tried everything from stress balls to yoga balls and got mixed results. Then, I heard about tying recycled bicycle inner tubes to desks, and kids could bounce their feet on the bands. I visited the Clemmons Bike Shop for some old bicycle inner tubes, but after thousands of bounces, problems occurred. After working with many different designs, materials, and molds, we have made amazing improvements on our original design,” said Ertl.
Ertl’s inspiration to creating Bouncy Bands came from wanting to help students enjoy school more by being able to focus better in class and to show what they have learned when taking tests. “I love helping kids enjoy school. Many parents feel helpless when their children say they hate it, and [the parents] often don’t know what to do to help. It’s really hard when kids get in trouble every day for being themselves. Now, parents can ask the teacher if it’s okay for their child to try a Bouncy Band for a week. Most teachers are amazed at how quickly they help, and most of all kids are happier and less stressed in school.” said Ertl.
The bands come in a few different types. There are three styles for desks, including wide and specialty, as well as two types for chairs, one for chairs with legs 13–18” apart and a larger one for chairs 17–22”. All bands come with support pipes, and replacement bands are also available. “Bouncy Bands are made from a latex-free, heavy-duty rubber and are strong enough to hold down tarps on tractor-trailer trucks. The support pipes are created from a polypropylene plastic that is phthalates-free. All packaging and shipping of the products is done at our warehouse in Winston-Salem. To assemble, the bands and support pipes simply slide up the chair or desk legs from the floor. The support pipes keep the band from sliding down to the floor from repeated use,” said Ertl.
To order bouncy bands, individuals or schools can order via Amazon at Kaplan’s in Lewisville, and at BouncyBands.com.
To determine the success rate of the product, Ertl sent a survey to teachers who bought the bands in 2015. According to Ertl, results came back from 144 teachers in 23 different states and showed that 92% reported that Bouncy Bands help students release energy, and 87% stated movement helped students to focus better in the classroom. A full summary of the survey results and additional research can be found on the company’s website.
Financial assistance is also available for educators interested in purchasing Bouncy Bands. “My best success has been the fact that over 1,400 teachers were able to get funded last school year through DonorsChoose.org, AdoptAClassroom.org, GoFundMe.com, or through local grants. Social media and sharing online fundraisers have been super successful for teachers in avoiding the handling of donations and receipts. They simply put the Bouncy Bands into their online shopping carts and share the link with family, friends, and students’ parents. Most parents share the link, and the class fundraiser is quickly funded, and the Bouncy Bands are automatically shipped to the teacher,” said Ertl.
Looking into the future, Ertl already has big plans for the company, including expanding into medical offices. “I’ve heard from doctors and dentists who have been using the bands in their waiting rooms for kids and adults before surgery, or just regular visits, which can also be really stressful. They are telling me they are noticing patients are using less anesthesia and having quicker recovery times. I’d like to get a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study to investigate and hopefully help millions of people. Also, I’m working on different applications for different style chairs and products for cars, vans, and airplanes for long trips,” said Ertl.
Bouncy Bands is located past Airbound Trampoline Park at 8075-Q North Point Blvd. in Winston-Salem. Call (646) 926-2440, or visit online at BouncyBands.com. Be sure to like them on Facebook.