OBJECTIVE. We used a randomized controlled design to investigate whether using stability balls during the school day was associated with higher levels of on-task behavior and academic achievement and fewer discipline referrals.
METHOD. Over 9 mo, students in 2 second-grade classrooms in a southeastern rural elementary school used stability balls as chairs while students in 2 control classrooms used chairs as usual. We collected measures of on-task behavior, standardized measures of literacy and mathematics achievement, and discipline referrals.
RESULTS. We found similar levels of on-task behavior and achievement in treatment and control classrooms and a downward trend in disruptive behaviors in treatment classrooms.
CONCLUSION. This study did not find use of stability balls for entire general education classrooms to be a practical use of resources for schools. More research with rigorous controlled designs is needed to support the use of stability balls for the general education population.