‘When I look back at my days in school, I only wish a ‘Balance Movement Cushion’ was something readily available! From swinging on the chair, to sitting on my foot, like many others I had a hard time sitting still!’
Balance Movement cushions are so powerful for children (or adults) who might struggle to sit still, and being real, so many children struggle to sit still and give full attention and concentration at all times. But the ‘Balance Movement Cushion’ is not just powerful for one reason, it is so beneficial for posture, core and balance. It’s simple and importantly very affordable!
What is a ‘Balance Movement Cushion’?
Also known as balance discs, wiggle seat, move n sit and fidget seat!
- Help with poor attention and concentration
- Promotes core strength and postural control (so important for handwriting!)
- Increase length of time able to tolerate sitting
- Develops balance
- Promotes sensory regulation
Who should use one?
Anyone who requires a bit of movement to aid their attention and concentration. As an OT, I would frequently recommend them for children with sensory processing difficulties, children with handwriting difficulties, children who have ADHD or ASD. However, they are beneficial to any child or adult who want to improve their focus and the other skills above. The balance cushion is very low profile, small and most importantly fun!
How do they work?
The ‘Balance Movement Cushion’ is not like your average chair, but rest assured they aren’t so unstable that a child could fall off or lose their balance. The cushion just gives enough wobble to keep children regulated and moving without distracting themselves or those around them! The movement promotes both vestibular and proprioceptive input. Both of which can improve focus, attention and concentration in addition to promoting calmness and meets sensory seekers needs. The cushion has two sides one smooth side and the other with bumps (tactile input) to give different sensory input.
The ‘Balance Movement Cushion’ promotes core strength due to its unstable surface. The wobbling engages core muscles which promotes a good sitting posture.
How should one use it?
All you need to do is have your child sit on it or stand on it for flexible seating or as part of a movement break! Ideally children sit on it for 30-40 minute intervals! Some kids enjoy it so much they want to sit on it all the time and that’s okay too! They are durable enough to stand on, so fantastic for sensory input through the sole of the foot (extremely regulating!), this further promotes core strength and balance.
Best times to use it?
- During homework or classwork
- During meals at the table
- Movement break during the day
- As part of a sensory diet
- When watching TV/IPAD
By Aoife Costello (Paediatric OT)