Environmental Change

Initiative Description: The principal of the school contacted the researchers regarding the opportunity to conduct classwide interventions for off-task behavior across 3rd- through 5th-grade classrooms. The practice implemented was the use of stability balls instead of regular chairs in the classroom. Only the students whose attention and hyperactivity levels were classified as most severe were observed for this study. The observers visited the classrooms for the same 3 days per wk, 30 min per student observation. Observers first coded (every 30 s) whether the student was in seat or on ball or out of seat or off ball. Second, the observer also noted whether the student was on task or off task.

Study Results: All children who participated in this study had improved attention and hyperactivity levels when the stability balls were implemented in the classroom. However, the greatest effect of the stability balls occurred for the children who had significant difficulties in attention before the intervention. 

Reference: Fedewa, A. L., & Erwin, H. E. (2011). Stability balls and students with attention and hyperactivity concerns: Implications for on-task and in-seat behavior. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(4), 393-399.

Level of Evidence: 3 out of 5 stars Very Good