Classroom Therapy Balls for Children with ADHD have positive effect

Exercise ball chairs have been used by people with poor posture or back problems for several years. They are ergonomic types of ‘chairs’ used by people for sensory seating and they have a positive impact on people for various reasons. Some people refer to them as ‘balance balls’.

Some of the more common uses of exercise ball chairs for adults include:

  1. Adults with posture, circulation, or back problems.
  2. People with poor muscle tone.
  3. Individuals who require dynamic seating.

Study background

Denise Schilling, Kathleen Washington, Felix F. Billingsley, and Jean Deitz conducted the study to investigate the effects of therapy balls on in-seat behavior and legible word productivity of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at the fourth grade level. The study also encompassed an evaluation by the teacher of students participating in the study to ascertain her opinions on the social validity and effectiveness of the ball chair as an intervention.

Study background and results were originally published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. There were four phases to this 12-week study which included:

Phases 1 and 3: Three students who were considered study participants and who were diagnosed with ADHD, and all other 21 members of the classroom, sat on chairs (in-seat on chair) during language arts class.

Phases 2 and 4: Everyone sat on therapy balls (in-seat on ball).

Researchers graphed data and visually observed to analyze any differences between phases.

There were 24 students in the classroom and three of them were diagnosed with ADHD. They were very similar in age and all had average or above average intelligence according to test results. All three study participants were also on similar types of medications for their disorder. Before the study began, the three ADHD students continually experienced out-of-seat behaviors and required significant direction from the teacher.

Study results

As a result of the research, study…

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