Ball or chair as seating arrangement in the classroom. A prospective study. Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1992 May 23;122(21):811-6.

Amstad H, Bachlin A, von Arx N.

Schularztamt des Kantons Basel-Stadt.

False posture is believed to be connected with sitting habits in school: the child who used to play and run now has to sit in one place. The aim of our study was to determine the value of a new type of seating accommodation--a large plastic ball. During one school year a group of 162 children (ages 8 and 12) used this ball as the only seating accommodation, while another similar group of 148 used normal chairs. At the beginning and the end of the study both groups were examined (muscle testing, modified Matthiass test and balance test). The results suggest a possible effect of the new seating accommodation on the back and abdominal muscles, but on the whole we found little improvement due to the ball alone. When incorporating movement into the classroom context the ball may be helpful. We recommend basic training and supervision of the teachers involved.

PMID: 1534934 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]