At Adelaide Elementary School in Bountiful, Utah, classes can sometimes be out of the ordinary.
In Meredith Dyer’s classroom, about one-third of her fourth grade students sit on big bouncy balls instead of traditional desks and chairs. These large fitness balls allow the kids to rock and roll and bounce around while they are learning.
For the three years that she has been using the balls in class, Dyer has noted that for some of her students that have trouble focusing in the classroom, the balls have actually helped them stay on task. Teachers around the country have also started using the bouncy balls instead of small, stiff chairs, noting it is also a way for students to shake off extra energy while also improving posture.
A study from the American Journal of Occupational Therapy found the balls have positive effects for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They help them stay seated and write more clearly. Other studies from autism researchers have found the balls may also help children with autism stay in their seats and be more engaged in their surroundings.
There are even companies, like WittFitt that sells these balls specifically for school use. Started by a former teacher, she originally used the balls about 10 years ago to help students become more physically active. She now sells them along with lesson plans and information for teachers on posture, health and other safety tips for students using them in the classroom.
Students will benefit in more than one way by using these balls in the classroom. Improving posture, focus and comfort are just a few of the reasons to try it out.
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