I know someone (never mind who) who used to tie herself to a chair while studying in order to not randomly get up and go do stuff. (Obviously, she could untie herself in case of emergency.)

Now, there’s a new way to do that:

Parents struggling to get their kids to revise in the run-up to exams can now keep them at their desk using a ball and chain that only unlocks when they have studied for long enough.

Concerned mums and dads set the desired study time on the Study Ball and attach it to their child’s ankle.

A red digital display counts down the “Study Time Left” and the device beeps and unlocks when the time expires.

More info here


  1. #1 Joe Marcus
    May 19, 2009

    This is SO brilliant (NOT!) .. Undermines everything we know about learning psychology. And about how not to increase childhood obesity. I thought by now the study that fidgeting is good for you was widely known: http://media.www.trumanindex.com/media/storage/paper607/news/2005/02/17/Trulife/Fidgeting.Could.Lead.To.Weight.Loss.Study.Shows-866538.shtml

  2. #2 Romeo Vitelli
    May 19, 2009

    Better only try this on a child who’s over 18. I can see the child or a concerned bystander calling Family Services and having the parents arrested otherwise.

  3. #3 José
    May 20, 2009

    It might work if the ball was one of those old-timey bombs that would explode if you tried to get up and leave. As it is, it’s just the ultimate rebel fashion accessory, even if it is a little heavy. All the cool kids are going to be wearing one.

  4. #4 Azkyroth
    May 20, 2009

    One minute studying is not equal to another.

  5. #5 catgirl
    May 20, 2009

    Or, you could just take the TV, video games, and other electronics out of the kid’s room if they’re not studying enough. Or, (gasp!) parents could actually just pay attention to their children. Have the kids study at the table where you can see them, and maybe even help them.

    What happens if the kid needs to go to the bathroom? I doubt they’ll learn anything at all if they end up sitting there, holding it in, just waiting for that timer to finish.

  6. #6 William Carlton
    May 20, 2009

    Perfect for homeschoolers, Greg!

  7. #7 Wallace Turner
    May 20, 2009

    9:01This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
    9:02Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
    9:03And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:
    9:04And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
    9:05And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.
    9:06And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:
    9:07And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:
    9:08And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.
    9:09And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:
    9:10And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:
    9:11And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.
    9:12And Cainan lived seventy years and begat Mahalaleel:
    9:13And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:
    9:14And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.
    9:15And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:
    9:16And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:
    9:17And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.
    9:18And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:
    9:19And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
    9:20And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
    9:21And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
    9:22And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
    9:23And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
    9:24And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
    9:25And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech.
    9:26And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:
    9:27And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
    9:28And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:
    9:29And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.
    9:30And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters …

    Hey, that’s ~ 1700 years of history I’ve learned in exactly half an hour. Is that enough learning for me to take the ball and chain off now?