2021 Volume 66 Pages 191-205
The aim of this study was to gain basic knowledge of the stepwise method of instruction involving rudimentary balancing tasks on a Swiss ball (rolling in the decubitus position and balancing in a sitting position) for physical fitness in mid-grade elementary schoolchildren. The subjects were 15 Grade 3 students who received instruction in four-hour sessions. To examine the instruction method, pre- and post-instruction balance was measured, and falls during learning were analyzed. Overall trends of changes in the subjects’ movements were then clarified by considering typical cases. The results indicated an overall tendency for improvement in the subjects’ balancing ability through tasks in both the decubitus and sitting positions. Subjects in the decubitus position repeatedly fell during learning; it was noted that the experience of losing balance in various ways helped them acquire dynamic balancing ability, thus allowing them to change postures. In the sitting position, the subjects were able to proactively roll the ball, thereby confirming that these dynamic learning tasks helped them acquire static balancing ability, which allowed them to maintain the position. Furthermore, an examination of the falls during learning showed that no subject had fallen head first, which is considered dangerous. Overall, the study findings suggest that the stepwise method of instruction helps mid-grade schoolchildren safely perform balancing tasks using a Swiss ball, creating an environment that allows children to proactively carry out diverse balancing tasks that may help them develop better ability to balance on the Swiss ball.