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Teachers ditch student desk chairs for yoga balls

10:56 AM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
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By Kathy Matheson, Associated Press

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) -- When students at one suburban Philadelphia school work diligently at their desks, they aren't exactly sitting still.

The fifth-graders at Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School learn while bouncing on brightly colored yoga balls.

Teacher Robbi Giuliano (joo-lee-AH'-noh) has done away with traditional chairs in her West Chester classroom. Instead, children balance themselves on giant rubber spheres also called stability balls.

Giuliano says the added body movement helps students focus better on daily lessons while toning their muscles.

Experts have linked physical activity with better learning. They say the balls are part of a larger movement to modernize schools with equipment including adjustable-height desks and footrests

Such furniture allows children to naturally fidget without disrupting class.

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