Saturday, September 26, 2009

Active Sitting in the Classroom


Our Friends at Ball Dynamics provided the following great information about sitting trends for kids at school. Check out the selection of sitting tools at SensoryEdge


Active sitting, or unsupported sitting, is a concept where sitting is not just a passive inactivity but one where the user is engaged in controlled movement while seated on an unstable surface. There are several Active Sitting products including free-standing exercise balls and inflatable seating discs that fit in a traditional chair. Many schools are now retrofitting their classrooms to take advantage of the benefits that Active Sitting provides.


Children naturally gravitate to the brightly colored balls and seem willing to embrace this new methodology of focused learning through sensory awareness. While initial research focused on improvements by Special Education students using Active Sitting tools, today experiential use by general classrooms seem to be indicating that all students may benefit from the same techniques occupational therapists have been promoting for years. See some of the university-driven research reports on Active Sitting in Ball Dynamics' online Resource Center.


Another benefit that Active Sitting provides is the strengthening of the core muscles. Core muscles are very important to a healthy back. All movement begins from the core and is where our center of gravity is located. Sitting on an inflatable disc or ball can force the body to strengthen its weakest muscles in order to maintain balance. The body and its core muscles are constantly making slight adjustments and movement in order to keep balance.


Benefits of Active Sitting
  • Active Sitting eliminates static loading and can help nourish the spine
  • Active Sitting can encourage better posture by activating and strengthening the tiny muscles in our back and core area
  • Active Sitting can force the body to strengthen its weakest muscles in order to maintain balance
  • Active Sitting can be used to improve focus and alertness by enhancing sensory awareness and simulating the vestibular sense.


Not all balls are created alike, which is why you'll find the professional-quality FitBALL brand of balls and seating cushions in schools, clinics, fitness clubs and other professional settings where quality is important. The entire FitBALL line of balls is burst-resistant quality- designed to deflate slowly, in case of an accidental puncture. Many lesser quality balls may burst suddenly if punctured.

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