Yoga balls instead of chairs for 3rd grade classroom

Yoga balls instead of chairs for 3rd grade classroom
Published: Jan. 15, 2014 at 11:54 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2014 at 12:53 AM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Out with the chairs and in with something bouncy. Third graders in a North Charleston classroom are using yoga balls instead of chairs.

Some may refer to them as stability balls, exercise or yoga balls. The inflatable balls are usually seen in gyms and even in work offices.

A teacher at Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary School decided to do away with chairs to challenge her students.

So far this is the only class at the school using yoga balls.

9-year-old Camden Crummey said, "Something fun to play with while you're still listening and learning."

Camden and his classmates may seem distracted by the bouncing, but their teacher Alisha Bailey says they don't notice the bouncing.

"There's a lot of studies showing that the more movement you have while you're moving, you're learning more because you have more oxygen flowing into your brain, so you're thinking more," said Bailey."

The kids follow all of the rules Bailey has put in place.

8-year-old Jada Mercer said, "You can't bounce too high and you have to keep your feet on the ground."

Students have figured out what works best for them since getting yoga balls last month.

"I would just say to bounce just a little bit because if you're distracted with the ball then you're bouncing too high and you're not doing your school work," said 9-year-old Dakota Hasty.

Bailey says she wrote a grant for the total cost of $350.

"What I've noticed is that they are more actively engaged because they're constantly moving," said Bailey.

That movement is what personal trainer Christi Torrio says also helps her clients at the East Shore Athletic Club.

"We like to put them on stability balls. It engages their core, it engages their back, and it helps with their posture," said Torrio.

Torrio says it's best to move around throughout the day.

"Just like any muscle or any exercise you want to do it in intervals, 30 minutes here, 30 minutes there," said Torrio.

The kids still had plenty of energy as they ran out the door for recess.

Bailey now hopes to inspire other teachers at her school to give it a try.

The yoga balls are optional, so a student still could use a chair if they want too.

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