At an NFL or NCAA game in a cold-weather region, you may spot these spiffy player benches:
Those fiberglass benches are actually heated, providing warmth for players in three different places.
"A heated bench from Dragons Seats not only provides an ergonomically comfortable seat for a player, they also keep a player's muscles loose, flexible, and more elastic, thus helping the player perform at their highest level while at the same time reducing their risk of muscle-related injuries. This is backed up by research conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine. Simply put, warmed muscles lower the risk of injury."
Produced by Ohio-based Dragon Seats, the benches themselves are heated from within by electricity, natural gas or propane, providing flexibility. They can be cranked up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. A heated footpad that runs the length of the bench can also be slid out from beneath it, to warm the players' feet.
As for the third point, the posts jutting out of the backrest have a heating element on top; this is for players to mount their helmets on. In cold weather, the protective bladder inside the helmets starts to stiffen, which the company says compromises the fit; by keeping the helmet on the heating post, the helmets are kept warm, keeping the bladders soft and pliable.
During the pandemic, as sporting events ground to a halt, the company expanded its focus and targeted still-open ski resorts, touting the benches as a great way to keep warm outside.
You'll also see them outside of L.L. Bean's flagship store in Freeport, Maine.
The company also produces identical-looking air conditioned benches. I'd think that if the company targeted a hot and moneyed city—Las Vegas, Dubai—they'd find another ready market.
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