"Keeping students on the ball"
Original article appeared onstartribune.com on October 27, 2007. Written by Herón Márquez Estrada.
Zion Lutheran school in Mayor, Minnesota has recently changed some of their classrooms by replacing all of the chairs with big bouncy excersize balls. While this may seem like an odd development, this same practice has taken place in Europe, Canada, and other schools across the U.S.
The benefits are enormous. The children who would normally be very fidgety or have trouble consentrating are given an outlet for their energy without being a distraction. These children are allowed to bounce quietly on their ball.
The balls also use up a lot of the children's energy. Kids work hard to keep themselves on top of the balls and this uses energy.
It also strengthens core muscles and these children are expected to be much more physically fit in a couple of months.
The balls are also able to heighten the kids consentration because they are consentrating on staying on top of the ball and then they are able to consentrate better in class.
Finally, these balls help with posture issues. The children are only able to sit on the balls with good posture.
These excersize balls have been used for years in gym's in order to help with various core muscle training.
If the program continues to be a success, then the entire school is going to get rid of all it's chairs and switch to the rubber balls.