Perri Blumberg in The New York Times:
John P. Porcari is a bit of a reality TV show junkie. When he wants to work out, Dr. Porcari, a retired professor of sports and exercise science from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, goes downstairs and watches “Alaska: The Last Frontier” or “Naked and Afraid” while bouncing on a mini trampoline. Just before speaking with The Times, he had completed four sets of 50 bounces while watching Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush.” “I have a ski trip in January to get ready for,” he said.
The global market for trampolines is anticipated to rise to $4.1 billion by 2027, up from an estimated $2.9 billion in 2020. Despite its exploding popularity — fueled in part by the pandemic, when demand for mini trampolines skyrocketed amid gym closures — the trampoline still seems more like a kid’s toy than a legitimate workout tool. But a growing body of recent research suggests trampolining (also known as rebounding) is an impressively effective, efficient mode of exercise.
In one small 2016 study Dr. Porcari conducted for the American Council on Exercise, 24 college students jumped on mini trampolines for six months. During each 19-minute workout, men burned an average of 12.4 calories per minute, while women burned 9.4 calories per minute, similar to running six miles per hour on flat ground. Yet the participants rated their effort on the trampoline as lower than one would expect for that level of exertion. In short, Dr. Porcari said, they were having too much fun to notice.