The Benefits of Wedge and Wobble Cushions
THE BENEFITS OF WEDGE & WOBBLE CUSHIONS
A Wedge Cushion is an air-filled cushion that when sat on tilts the pelvis forward slightly, enhancing the inward curve of the lower back and encouraging the user to sit more upright.
This encouragement to sit properly and correctly reduces strain on the body’s joints and ligaments which in turn helps the proprioceptive sense (sense of body awareness). By improving posture and encouraging “active” sitting with a wedge cushion children can sit and stay focussed for longer as body awareness is improved the need to fidget reduced.
A wedge cushion can be beneficial to children who shift around or rock in their seat.
The cushion can be inflated as much or as little as required so the child can sit comfortably. We don’t recommend over inflating as this causes a bulge and the cushion loses it wedge shape. This can make it uncomfortable to sit on (thus reducing its effectiveness) and may cause the valve stopper to fly out if the cushion is sat on with force. The cushion should just be partially inflated so it retains it wedge shape when sat on.
The wedge cushion has raised dimples on the surface for tactile input – or can be turned over if this is not required. Wedge cushions are normally used on a chair, such as a classroom or dining room chair. We do not recommend they are used on a soft chair such as a sofa as the temptation to slouch is too much. They can be used on the floor to sit on or stand on to practice balance.
Wedge cushions are not an automatic guarantee of proper sitting – you can still slouch on a wedge cushion! Children still need to be encouraged and shown how to sit upright on the cushion.
Wobble cushions (sometimes called disc cushions or instability cushions) are small round inflatable cushions, strong enough to sit or stand on. When sat on the inflated cushion creates instability (a wobble!) encouraging the user to engage their back and core muscles. The cushion can be used on a chair or on the floor. They are strong enough to be stood on to build core strength and practice balance.
Sitting on a wobble cushion is similar to sitting on a therapy ball – only smaller, portable and more convenient. The instability engages the core muscles improving posture and core stability. The wobble effect makes sensory seeking children focus on how they sit, reducing fidgeting and helping to improve focus on the task in hand.
Wobble cushions are often smooth on one side and has raised dimples on the other for additional sensory input. Wobble cushions are not meant to be too comfortable! They are meant to be unstable and slightly uncomfortable to make sitting down a physical exercise – they will never be as comfortable as slouching!
Sitting on a wobble cushion engages the core muscles helping to improve core stability – so it is effectively and exercise. It is recommended that the cushion is not sat on all day – about ½ hour at a time is long enough. Put it to one side for a while and then use it again at regular intervals throughout the day.
The cushion can also be great fun to stand on to build muscle tone and help balance and concentration. Stand on both legs, one leg, make a tree shape etc…..be creative and have fun!
It is advisable to check that cushions are made from flexible PVC free material that contains no latex or phthalates. They have a small valve in the back so the cushion can easily be inflated by blowing directly into the valve (they don’t take much to blow up) or using a bike pump or any other type of pump. The cushion can be inflated as much or as little as required. Don’t over inflate the cushion – it requires enough air to make in wobble when you sit or stand on it.