Title:
Exercise seat for transport vehicle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A leg exerciser having first and second foot pads coupled to a glide assembly having longitudinally extending first and second tracks for moving the first and second foot pads between a stored position and an exercising position. The foots pads are coupled to a resistance means to provide resistance to the movement of the foot pads. The leg exerciser is configured to be mounted to a seat.



Inventors:
Nguyen, Tony H. (Renton, WA, US)
Long, Michael A. (Freeland, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/006424
Publication Date:
06/08/2006
Filing Date:
12/07/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/51
International Classes:
A63B22/00; A63B23/08; A63B23/10; A63B71/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CROW, STEPHEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLEIN, O''NEILL & SINGH, LLP (IRVINE, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A leg exerciser comprising: a first and a second foot pad; a glide assembly having longitudinally extending first and second tracks for moving said first and second foot pads between a stored position and a exercising position; and a resistance means coupled to said foot pads to provide resistance to the movement of said foot pads, said leg exerciser configured to be mounted to seat tracks of a first seat such that loads experienced by the compression of the first and second foot pads are absorbed in seat tracks of the first seat while a user of the leg exerciser is seated in a second seat.

2. The leg exerciser of claim 1, wherein said glide assembly includes at least one means for folding the foot pads into a collapsed configuration.

3. The leg exerciser of claim 1, wherein the leg exerciser is configured to be operated from a seated position.

4. The leg exerciser of claim 1, further comprising means for providing variable resistance to the motion of the first and second foot pads.

5. The leg exerciser of claim 1, wherein the first and second foot pads have a texturized surface.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to exercising equipment and, more particularly, to an apparatus for the exercise of leg muscles to increase blood flow in the legs while seated on a transport vehicle.

2. Related Art

Currently, there are limited options for exercising on an airplane. On very long flights passengers are seated for long periods of time, which can cause their legs to become numb due to reduced circulation. The ability to stand up and walk around in an airplane is not always practical and the attempt to do so may disturb other passengers.

Some air carriers are considering exercise rooms on board airplanes. However, this requires that the number of seats or cargo space be reduced.

Other exercise options can include exercise-friendly power bands used to provide resistance to the movement of a user's limbs. While others choose to brace themselves against walls, typically near the galley or lavatories, to perform stretching exercises for legs, calves, back, and arms. With increased security concerns on airplanes, the congregation of passengers near the galley or lavatories is discouraged and often prohibited.

SUMMARY

The invention provides exercise equipment that allows for movement of the legs while offering resistance to that movement. The exercise equipment is for use on an airplane while in a seated position. The exercise equipment includes two pedals, which can be alternatively compressed with the feet to exercise the legs and stimulate circulation.

As described below, the exercise apparatus rides on a telescoping track mounted below a seat in front of the exercising passenger. The exercise equipment can be moved from a stowed position to an exercise position. The resistance is provided through any means of mechanical or pneumatic actuation and the like. The loads experienced by the compression of the pedals are absorbed in the seat tracks of the seat in front of the exercising passenger to prevent disturbance of other passengers. The exercise equipment stows under the seat in front of the exercising passenger when not in use.

Beneficially, the present invention inhibits deep vein thrombosis, which can cause blood clots, triggered by long periods of inactivity while seated. The present invention enables movement of the leg muscles, which increases blood flow in the legs and inhibits the formation of blood clots.

Additional advantages, objects, and features of the invention will be set forth in part in the detailed description which follows. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are merely exemplary of the invention, and are intended to provide an overview or framework for understanding the nature and character of the invention as it is claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings are included to provide further understanding of the invention, illustrate various embodiments of the invention, and together with the description serve to explain the principles and operation of the invention. In the drawings, the same components have the same reference numerals. The illustrated embodiment is intended to illustrate, but not to limit the invention. The drawings include the following Figures:

FIGS. 1A and 1B are simplified side and top views of the exercise apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a simplified side view of the exercise apparatus of FIG. 1A mounted to a seat in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention allows for exercise of a user's leg muscles while the user is seated.

FIGS. 1A and 1B are side and top views of exercise apparatus 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention. Exercise apparatus 100 includes a glide assembly 102 including two telescoping tracks 104 and 106. The telescoping feature of tracks 104 and 106 allows for track 106 to moveably extend from track 104 in a linear path, generally free of lateral motion.

At the extended end of track 106 is mounted a pair of foot pads 108 and 110. The overall width of foot pads 108 and 110 should provide for travel in a linear path within glide assembly 102, also free of lateral motion. In one embodiment, foot pads 108 and 110 are made slightly narrower then the distance between tracks 104 and 106 of glide assembly 102.

At least one roller wheel 112 is positioned on the extended end of track 106 to evenly distribute the weight and increase the stability of exercise apparatus 100 during use. One skilled in the art will recognize that the number and location of roller wheel 112 is not limited to that which is shown in FIG. 1. Various bracing structures can be used to enhance structural rigidity of tracks 108 and 110 as would be recognized by those of ordinary skill in the art.

Foot pads 108 and 110 permit simultaneous exercise of two legs. Foot pads 108 and 110 may be formed of a variety of materials, such as plastic, metal, or other material that is lightweight, durable and sturdy to minimize flexing when in use. Glide assembly 102 are also formed of plastic, metal or other material that is lightweight, durable and sturdy to avoid flexing when in use. By way of example glide assembly 102 may be formed of aluminum.

In one embodiment, a joint or hinge 114 may be provided to allow the ability to fold foot pads 108 and 110 down toward tracks 108 and 110 for convenient storage. Optionally, a second joint or hinge 116 can be provided near foot pads 108 and 110 to allow foot pads 108 and 110 to be folded along tracks 104 and 106 and lay flat there along.

Foot pads 108 and 110 are sized in width to fit between tracks 104 and 106 of tracks 108 and 110. Such a width would then easily allow exercise apparatus 100 to fit between the legs of a stationary chair. Exercise apparatus 100 located under a chair allows the path of travel of the user's feet while exercising to be natural. In one embodiment, foot pad travel may be sized in length to provide about a 0.5 inch to about 8 inches of travel, although it is known that shorter lengths may be sufficient for increasing blood flow. Foot pads 108 and 110 may be sized to accommodate any user's feet. Foot pads 108 and 110 are made generally longer and wider than a user's foot to avoid the ends of a user's foot from approaching the ends of the foot pads and be in danger of colliding with surrounding structures. It should be understood that the present invention is not limited to any specific dimensions.

In one embodiment, the top surfaces of foot pads 108 and 110 can be texturized to inhibit the user's foot from sliding relative to the texturized foot pads.

In one embodiment, the resistance mechanism is provided by a mechanical spring within a pneumatic cylinder. The mechanical spring is a coil spring providing a minimal amount of resistance for exercise and the pedal return force. The pneumatic cylinder is a cylinder within a cylinder having sliding surfaces that are pneumatically sealed. An internal guide keeps the internal cylinder aligned with the external cylinder. A simple valve connected to the cylinder is opened for less resistance and closed for greater resistance.

In one embodiment, the internal cylinder can be welded or similarly attached to a foot pad, while the external cylinder is welded or similarly attached to an attachment block. The attachment block is welded or similarly attached to the track. The attachment between the external cylinder and the attachment block is made so as to angle the pneumatic cylinder toward the user's foot.

FIG. 2. illustrates exercise apparatus 100 for use as part of a seating configuration in a transport vehicle, such as an airplane seating arrangement. Exercise apparatus 100 is mounted close to the floor and oriented below a seat in front of the user. The user is seated in a chair located at the other end of exercise apparatus 100, such that the chair and the user are facing exercise apparatus 100. The user places one foot on each foot pad 108 and 110. Alternatively or in addition, a user may place her foot on the texturized surface of the foot pads.

In operation, the user moves both feet fore and aft so as to move foot pads 108 and 110 40 in a bicycling motion.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made to the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus it is intended that the present invention cover the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.