The exercise ball chair is fast becoming the newest craze in dynamic, ergonomic, posture improving, and sensory seating.
And, I surely don't blame people for scooping them up off the shelves so quickly! Once you try a balance ball chair, you may just wonder how you ever survived without one. If you've tried these ball chairs, you know the comfort and positioning solutions I am talking about. If not, you just "gotta" try them!
Up until a few years ago, the best we could offer children (and adults) with the need for dynamic seating was the "disc-o-sit" or "movin' sit" cushions, and the T-stool. Don't get me wrong, these are excellent options too (cheaper than some of the ball chairs, and more conveniently portable; great for school seating).
But, now, my dream would be for these ball chairs to be offered to individuals in as many settings as possible; classrooms, computer labs/desks, home offices, or a desk used for doing homework. Their benefits are unique and (dare I say) almost necessary for:
From a sensory perspective, An exercise ball chair IS THE BEST SEATING SOLUTION for children (or adults) with issues regarding balance, postural control, attention, and sensory seeking behaviors of the vestibular and proprioceptive sense.
There are different types of of ball chairs available. These include:
1. How much money you want to spend (anywhere from $20-$450).
2. What size and type of exercise ball chair you want/need for the proper seating position.
3. What "issues" the ball chair will be addressing (i.e., dynamic seating, posture, balance, comfort, sensory issues, etc.).
My suggestion? You get what you pay for (unfortunately for some).
If it is for an adult or older child, the ErgoChair (tm), metal or plastic ball chair with or without arms (based on your preference) will do. Oh, how comfortable they will be!
If it is for a younger child (or you can't afford the best), then any of the exercise balls with a weighted bottom, with legs, or that sits in a stabilizing ring/holder will do.
If it is for sensory issues only (i.e., dynamic seating, proprioceptive, or vestibular input), the Sit-or-Go (tm) SitBall cover and ball would be a great choice (bonus: doubles as a hopping ball). Even if this one isn't available or affordable know that the continuous postural adjustments a child will need to make while sitting on such a comfortable "seat" may mean the difference between being able to pay attention or not in the classroom, between A's and C's. The more they have to adjust, the more input they receive, the more calm and focused they will be!
Just remember to get the right size ball for a proper fit (usually knees and hips bent at 90 degrees, no more). Hint: If you get the metal or plastic exercise ball chairs, such as you see below, they are height adjustable!
Ball chairs: Truly an inventive, ergonomic, dynamic,
outrageously comfortable, seating alternative!
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