The Swiss Ball originated in 1963 in Italy.
Made by an Italian plastics engineer and originally scented with vanilla, it was first used in Switzerland by a physiotherapist who first used the balls for therapy treatments amongst neurologically impaired children. Other physio’s then pioneered the ball technique for postural re-training and back pain rehabilitation.
Since the large balls could only be purchased in Switzerland they got their nick name “swiss balls” . They first appeared in the USA in the 70’s and not until the 1990’s did they make their way to Australia. The benefits of the Swiss Ball include:
- Increases your awareness of your body in space (Kinaesthetic awareness)
- Flexibility & core stabilising
- Balance—the instability of the ball forces your body to constantly make weight shifts to find balance points
- Stability can be challenged by using the ball during certain exercises forcing other stabilizing muscles to work
Swiss Ball exercises focus on developing the muscles that provide spinal stability, which is a key focus of spinal health aiding in the prevention and recovery of back related pain and injury.