Lab Notes: Tomes have been written about the stress benefits of laughter and Mirth in a Box can tickle just about anyone’s funny bone, but we were intrigued by the use of fidget toys as low level stress reducers. After the caffeinated products session, our staff thought an appropriate counterbalance would be to test products with calming abilities. Our researchers tested several different stress balls, a stress wiener, 3 sizes of Hyper-Flex Inside-Out Stretch Balls and 2 sizes of Tangles. Tangles are, according to their web site, “twistable energy that enables a free flow of creativity from your mind. Technically, a series of 90- degree curves …able to pivot at each joint.”
Testing: The stress balls were great for repetitive clenching and unclenching of hand muscles. The stress balls lasted for months, were inexpensive, easy to acquire but, quite frankly, boring. Our testers much preferred the Stress Wiener which functioned in the same way the stress balls did, but also doubled as a desk decoration and dished up dozens of double takes. The stretchy inside out balls were also a hit. They could be squeezed and pulled, offered both a smooth and a textured surface to stroke and could even be blown up like a balloon. The Tangles offered a new twist on fidgeting: they morphed in to myriad shapes, could be popped apart and put back together. They offered hours of intricate, high-quality fiddling.
Conclusions: We decided to carry the Stress Wieners because of their visual punch, the small Inside Out Stretch neon stretch balls for their additive appeal and the Tangle Juniors because of their changeable charms.
Mirth in a Box offers the Hyper-Flex Neon Inside-Out Stretch Ball and Tangle Junior in the world’s only care package for smokers and ex-smokers, “QuitSmoking“. The Stress Wieners are often featured as a free gift in all the Mirth in a Box gift baskets.