TYLER, Texas (KETK)- Two professors from the University of Texas at Tyler were granted a patent for creating a new strength training exercise ball.
The workout device was created by Yong Tai Wang, the UT Tyler College of Nursing and Health Sciences dean and Chung Hyun Goh, the UT Tyler assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
The ball has a unique shape. It resembles the yin and yang, and it can be separated into two separate pieces to use during Tai Chi.
Tai Chi has traditionally been used as a mind and body exercise, but this new invention will add the strength training element to the activity.
“Tai Chi is an exercise for improving physical and mental health for older adults. Strength training is also a crucial exercise for older adults,” said Wang. “We have not seen a health promotion program to combine the mind-body exercise with strength training in one, so we developed this Tai Chi Ball as well as Wheelchair Tai Chi Ball 12 Forms for individuals with disabilities or spinal cord injuries.”
The original study for this project was supported by the Paralyzed Veterans of America in 2017, and the findings were published in the Journal of Sports Medicine in June 2020.
The ball is available in three sizes and three weights and it is made at UT Tyler using a 3D printer. The University is also looking for an investment company for future mass production of the product.
Wang has been a UT Tyler leader since 2014. He has taught Tai Chi classes for over 20 years and has focused his research on the biomechanics of rehabilitation.
This is the second time Wang has applied for a patent application. In 2008, he applied for the EZ Push Wheelchair that would benefit stroke patients and elderly wheelchair users.
Goh arrived at UT Tyler in 2015. His research focuses on robotics, machine vision and control, and integrated design and manufacturing.