Exercise Balls Replace Chairs

9 years 10 months 1 week ago Saturday, August 28 2010 Aug 28, 2010 Saturday, August 28, 2010 4:05:15 AM CDT August 28, 2010 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lewis and Clark Middle School students have a new way to stay comfortable in class while rounding out their health education. Students now relax on new stability balls in health class. Cody Sharp teaches sixth through eighth grade students, and it was his idea to bring the large rubber balls into the classroom.

"I was lucky enought to get the money, and then I got them ordered, and it has been great ever since." Sharp said.

The new chairs cost about $50 each, with the school buying 30 chairs.  All of the balls have rubber feet on them so students can place the rounded chairs on top of the desks at the end of the day.  Sharp's students choose whether to sit on the orange or yellow chairs depending on a student's height.

The chairs make it harder for kids to doze off, and it helps them stay focused during class, according to Sharp.

When the balls arrived during the summer, the school installed new tile floors and Sharp had an artist paint graffiti text on one of the classroom walls, Sharp said.  The artwork says: "Crack is Wack," and it urges kids to avoid drugs.

"Students noticed my room was much different than last year because not only the new chairs, but new tile and of course we have the painting on the wall.  So they were pretty stoked to see the changes," he said.

A Mayo Clinic study shows student's concentration improves and they burn off any excess energy when he or she rests on a ball during class.  The exercise balls also create less noise.

Sharp is helping his colleagues find money to install the rounded chairs in other classrooms, but he says the cost to purchase the chairs is slowing the process of replacing standard chairs at the middle school.

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