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"All the kids like them," Borovsky said recently. "But for a certain percentage of the kids they are very helpful."
Working the abs
The results of the Mayo Clinic study, which was looking at ways to reduce obesity by making children more active, surprised people.
"Everyone anticipated that kids were not going to be as attentive because the kids were not sitting at their desks lined up in little rows looking at the front," he said. "If anything, they were far more attentive."
Nellis and others believe this is because the kids are able to burn off any excess energy. Also, if kids are bored they can bounce lightly on the balls and then refocus on the work.
Finally, the additional movements students make using balls instead of chairs burn off more calories, which could help combat an epidemic of obesity in children by making them more physically fit.
"It's fun," said Masun Bentz, 9, a third-grader at Zion. "And it really works out your abs."
Borgendale and Borovsky said they hope to see improvements in physical fitness tests in the spring among students who have used the balls.
"The kids really enjoy them," said Borovsky, who also sits on one while teaching algebra. "They don't get in the way of teaching. So why not make learning fun?"
Herón Márquez Estrada 612-673-4280