A classroom intervention increasing in popularity is the use of stability balls in lieu of traditional classroom seating. Stability balls are promoted as an effective alternative to chairs at a classwide level, yet there are no published studies documenting classwide outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate classwide effects of stability balls and attempt to provide empirical support for their use. Using an A-B-A-B reversal design, this study examined the effectiveness of stability balls in comparison to classroom chairs in a second grade classroom. Student on-task and out-of-seat behavior was measured using direct observation and teacher direct behavior ratings. Academic productivity was measured using curriculum-based measures of written expression. Stability balls did not show marked improvements over baseline for either on-task or out-of-seat behavior. However, stability balls were as effective as chairs with greater variability. Teacher direct behavior ratings did not demonstrate clear improvement in behavior while students were seated on stability balls. Results demonstrated slight improvement in writing fluency over the course of the study. However, results were comparable for both types of seating. Overall, teacher and student social validity measures indicated high levels of acceptability of stability balls in the classroom.
Carlos J. Panahon
Date of Degree
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Olson, N. A. (2015). Investigating Stability Balls in the Classroom: Effects on Student Behavior and Academic Productivity [Doctoral dissertation, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/396/
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License