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School children sit on special balls to improve their posture

The new initiative is based on sports like Pilates. The pilot school is located in Montellà, in the Catalan Pyrenees. The measure was an initiative from the school zone director, who was concerned about future back problems. It was agreed on with the parents, the school and the Catalan Ministry of Education.

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02 February 2011 11:51 PM

by

ACN / Ferran Garcia Queralt

Montellà and Martinet (ACN) .- The Catalan Primary School Ridolaina in the village of Montellà introduced a brand new piece of furniture to the classroom -plastic balls. In an attempt to improve children's postures, fifth and sixth class pupils are now required to sit on specific medical balls during class. The specially designed balls require children to maintain a perfect posture. If they do not, the ball becomes unbalanced and they can fall over. The initiative stems from the director of the school zone Núria Burgada who was concerned by childrens' bad seating habits. She was worried about the way kids sit on chairs the wrong way for long periods of time. And the new initiative seems to be working as according to Montella Primary School's physical education teacher Eduard Isern, "after two weeks, the effects have already been very positive\u201D.


According to Eduard Isern, the Primary School focused on alternative sports like Pilates to solve various problems like posture, low concentration and nervousness. The school is even working with a physiotherapist from the nearby Puigcerdà Hospital to teach children the best way to sit.

Since children have been using balls as seats, there have been some structural changes in the school. The tables have been spread out a bit wider to make them more comfortable for children and small stands have been placed in classrooms for computers so that children do not have to force their position to use them.

Those responsible for the initiative seem satisfied so far with the results achieved in these two weeks since the first application of the new measure and are ruling out trying it on other younger pupils. PE teacher Eduard Isern explains that \u201Cin the beginning, it was just for older children as they are tall enough to touch the ground with their feet when sitting on the ball, a necessary condition to maintain balance\u201D.

According to Isern, the initiative was well received by parents of pupils and they collaborated with the school at all times in order to make the measure possible. The school spoke with the Catalan Ministry of Education before implementing the measure in order to get approval. For the moment, there is no news about whether or not any other Primary Schools will follow this initiative.

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  • A row of balls, on which kids sit (by F. Garcia Queralt)

  • A row of balls, on which kids sit (by F. Garcia Queralt)