Today’s PhysioRoom Blog is going to take a look at wobble cushions. What they are, what they do, and how they can help in schools and with kids with ADHD
In recent years there has been significant research in to the idea of ‘active sitting’. As the world continues to advance technologically, for some, sitting at our desks for extended periods of time has become unavoidable and it can lead to many postural and health complications.
From an evolutionary standpoint, the human body was not designed to sit.
Sitting places more strain on our back than when we stand or move around, meaning sitting for long periods can increase stiffness in the lower back, create pressure on lumbar intervertebral discs and lead to tightening of the hip flexors leading to weakening the glutes, abdominals and core muscles.
Active Sitting on the other hand using something like a wobble cushion, creates an unstable surface to sit on, meaning the body has to correct itself against gravity constantly. This added need for balance encourages the postural muscles to be activated, providing small but beneficial movement to train the muscles of the lower back, core and pelvis.
By constantly having the postural muscles active, it allows them to stay strong and activated to better meet the demands imposed on them in our day to day lives. Meaning you won’t feel as stiff and creaky every time you stand up after a spell at your desk.
One of the best ways to achieve active sitting is by using wobble cushions.
Wobble cushions, seat wedges and their sister products wobble boards and tilt boards are frequently used by physios in the treatment and rehab of sports injuries such as sprained ankle or following a knee or ankle surgery. The traditional and main use for these products are to improve flexibility, concentration, balance, agility and overall awareness of how the body moves and where it is positioned (proprioception).
What is ADHD?
Active sitting and wobble boards can also have other benefits, including being able to assist children with ADHD, helping them concentrate.
ADHD, which stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, affects children and can continue in to the teenage years and adulthood. It is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children.
Children suffering from ADHD may have trouble paying attention, as well as displaying hyperactivity and being unable to control their impulses.
Usually discovered during the child’s early school years when a child begins to have problems paying attention, it is more common in boys than in girls.
Adults with ADHD may find difficulties organising their lives and managing time, leading to difficulty holding down jobs and relationships. Wobble cushions are a great way to stop fidgeting caused by ADHD. So not matter if you’re an adult or child with ADHD the wobble cushion can help you! Why not take a look at our very popular wobble cushion?
As mentioned, the way in wobble cushions can directly help children with ADHD is thanks to ‘Active Sitting’.
There has been research in to kids with ADHD and active sitting. In 2003 a study was published in the American Journal of Occupation Therapy that found that in students with ADHD, sitting on therapy balls(swiss balls) improves behaviour and productivity. It was discovered that students using ball chairs were better able to sit still, focus and write more.
Then in 2007 the Mayo Clinic in Rochester echoed these sentiments by finding that the ability to move around more while sitting made the students more attentive, the study believing this is due to kids being able to burn off excess energy by bouncing or moving.
It’s this movement, when channelled correctly that actually helps students focus. A 2008 National Education Association article featured a research study that found children need to move while performing a complicated mental task.
The study also found that “children, especially those with ADHD fidgeted more when a task required them to store and process information rather than just hold it. This is why students are often restless while doing maths or reading, but not while watching a movie.”
Active sitting by its nature is friendly towards fidgeting, so for those children who can’t resist, it’s a good way of channelling their excess energy in to productive activities, as well as providing the physical benefits and reducing strain on their young bodies.
It acknowledges a child’s need to move, but simultaneously keeps them sitting still enough so teachers and other students can keep going as normal.
If you’re still not sure on how exactly a wobble board or cushion works, read more about them on our blog Wobble Boards and Cushions explained.
PhysioRoom.com Wobble Cushions
PhysioRoom stocks several different Wobble Cushions to suit every need be it rehab or for active sitting. To check out our full range, click here.
But this may be the one you need…
PhysioRoom.com Wobble Cushion Junior 30cm
Use the PhysioRoom.com Faster Blaster Dual Action Pump to inflate your Junior Wobble Cushion. It can then be used for balancing exercises and to promote good posture.
An anti-slip surface is featured on one side and the other is designed to stimulate a child’s sensory receptors with tiny bumps.
The rounded shape of the Junior Wobble Cushion means that the user must actively use their supporting muscles to remain stable. We also have wobble boards by PhysioRoom, why not take a look at our range of wobble boards including our cushion for children.