Exercise Balls replace Chairs at One Elementary School
I recently read that one elementary school has opted to replace regular chairs with exercise balls. It seems that the school has figured out what a lot of us already knew (especially those of us working from home): the active nature of sitting on the ball helps posture, gives us that added work in our bodies that helps us focus our minds.
I'm kind of amazed that this insight has made it this far. (Team it up with research that chewing gum helps learning and it's like a whole frontier of reality has opened up.)
While it's amazing to see people figuring out that kids are actually helping themselves by wiggling and chewing and the like, I myself am torn. While I work with people to figure out the strategies that help them focus best, I am quite sensitive to noise and motion around me. The right cocktail of background stimulation is great for me… but quiet, occasional noise pulls me off task and thought. And when a friend sits on an exercise ball while we're chatting, their mild background bouncing makes it impossible for me to focus on what they're saying. It can even make me feel queasy- especially when I see it in my peripheral vision like I would if it were the kid sitting next to me. If they were to sit without bouncing, that would be ok. The ironic thing is it is a friend with adult ADHD (with hyperactivity!) who is most likely to constantly bounce on the thing. How would I do in that classroom?