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Chained to your desk, seriously

If ever-increasing homework targets are getting your pupils down, then take comfort in the fact that parents can now chain their children to their desk with a prison-style ball and chain that is programmed to keep track on how much time they spend studying.

The Study Ball gadget, which is sold online at and costs around Pounds 75, can be attached to the student's ankle. A red LED indicator displays how much time they have left to study. "Quite often, students who are having problems concentrating tend to get up every 10 minutes to watch TV, talk on the phone, take something out of the fridge, and a long list of other distractions," the website says. The aim of the device is to encourage pupils to use this time to study, so they're free to enjoy themselves sooner.

The designer, Emilio Alarcon, claims that he had the idea for the Study Ball when he spoke to a friend who said studying was just like being in jail.

The ball and chain come with a safety key so parents can open the chain at any time.

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