Earlier this year, I wrote an article about Pacemakers & Massage Chairs. The gist of the article was that massage chairs emit electromagnetic fields that create electromagnetic interference (EMI), as do pretty much every other electronic device . The concern is that the EMI caused by the EMF's of massage chairs can be harmful for the body, particularly to those who have pacemakers. You can read that article here...
The long and short of that article is that yes, massage chairs emit EMF's, but the question is whether they create more EMI than standard household devices. Some literature suggests that they don't, but I thought I'd find out for myself.
Aside from the effect on pacemakers, there are plenty of customers looking for a massage chair who do not have a pacemaker but who are quite concerned about the dangerous effects of EMF and EMI. This article is also written for them.
I ordered an EMF testing device (Meterk) and checked the readings of each of the 14 massage chairs in my Utah showroom. Here are some points I had to consider as I embarked on this little case study:
- The readings of the device were displayed in microtesla units (µT).
- I took the readings without actually sitting in the chairs. I just placed the device in the chair and took the readings.
- Since the massage chairs emitted varying amounts of µT based depending on where the device was placed, I tried to find a location on each chair that would give me the highest reading. That place was the low back area, including the seat.
- I found that the thickness of the material separating the body from the rollers varied from chair to chair. Some had thick synthetic leather upholstery (OHCO M.8, D.Core Cirrus, Positive Posture Brio Sport, Osaki Admiral, JPMedics Kumo, Ogawa Master Drive AI) while others had thinner nylon material (Human Touch Super Novo, Luraco iRobotics 7+ and Legend+, Daiwa Supreme Hybrid, Daiwa Pegasus, Infinity Aura, Positive Posture Brio Sport, Infinity Genesis Max, Infinity Smart Chair x3). The thicker material had a lower µT reading while the nylon had higher.
- The readings would change as the rollers moved closer to the testing area, as the motors turned on, and as the air compressors turned on. I recorded my readings when the most components were on or close to the low back area because that was when the readings were the highest.
- I could not test the readings of the Panasonic MAJ7 because the chair would turn off as soon as it registered the fact that a body was not in the chair.
- The readings were constantly changing, therefore it was difficult for me to get an exact reading. It would have been great, and so much easier, if the EMF device could lock in on the highest number and display just that number. But that would have been too easy! It was quite frustrating at first because the numbers would fluctuate all over the place. I eventually learned how to "estimate" the highest, peak point after watching the device display over a minute or so. What I'm trying to say is that the number I recorded was a pretty good estimate based on ever-changing numbers that the device displayed. The numbers ranged from 0 all the way up to the number I recorded, depending on the presence of the rollers and whether a motor and/or compressor was engaged.
- Going back to the premise of the Pacemaker article, does a massage chair emit a greater EMF than regular household devices? I took the readings of my cell phone and my laptop computer at the showroom so that I could compare the readings of the massage chairs to those of the phone and computer, both of which could be considered commonly used household devices. My cell phone emitted 1.5 µT, while the computer emitted 3.00 - 4.00 µT (interestingly enough, the screen emitted next to nothing. It was the keyboard that really emitted the EMF). Keep those numbers in mind as you look at the numbers below associated with each of the following massage chairs.
Here are the chair models tested along with the peak µT number associated with each model:
Luraco iRobotics 7 Plus - 2.30
Luraco Legend Plus - 2.12
Infinity Aura - 4.30
D.Core Cirrus - 2.39
Daiwa Pegasus - 4.23
Daiwa Supreme Hybrid - 3.51
Human Touch Super Novo - 6.70
Ogawa Master Drive AI - 5.45
OHCO M.8 - 7.20
JPMedics Kumo - 5.43
Positive Posture Brio Sport - 2.78
Infinity Smart Chair x3 - 3.46
Osaki Admiral - 2.36
Infinity Genesis Max - 6.13
As you can tell from these numbers, although they vary from as low as 2.12 to as high as 7.20, the range is not hugely significant. The laptop reading is right in the middle of that range. I think this very rudimentary case study supports the notion that perhaps these massage chairs don't create as much EMI as some might think and that massage chairs are safer than some might have assumed.
Dr. Alan Weidner
P.S. Give us a "Like" or "Share" and leave me a comment or question below to share what you learned or ask any questions, so other folks can benefit from this material.