Some of our fondest memories are often associated with swinging. When you think of a swing you might think of child’s play, but the benefits of swinging are truly therapeutic and transcend all ages. Whereas a hammock swing may be used for calming a cranky infant or someone after a hard day’s work, a stretchy Air Walker swing can help to stretch muscles and increase alterness. Lets take a closer look at some of the benefits of using swings.
Balance, Coordination and Motor Planning
A traditional strap swing or tire swing requires quite a bit of coordination and motor planning to learn how to maneuver and pump. Using a swing takes a significant amount of balance as well. Most children (around ages 2-4) can learn to pump, though some may learn later. Even for adults, using a standard swing can be highly beneficial to their coordination. Platform swings and bolster swings also require coordination but even more so, they challenge one’s sense of balance.
Deep inside our joints are Golgi Tendon Organs or receptors that signal our brains to let us know where our joints are in space. A swing such as the Air Walker can encourage spatial and proprioceptive awareness as pressure is applied to the body through movement and heavy work. Once our bodies are more organized, we can then sit, attend and accomplish more work at school, home or office.
Ah….When you think of a hammock, surely you think of quiet and peace. Maybe you see yourself reading a book, taking a nap or just hanging out in your backyard hammock. Hammocks have come a long way and can be used indoors, in lieu of a bed or sleeping bag or outside. The back and forth motion stimulates the inner ear and has much the same effect as lying on a float.
Focus and Attention
For some swinging can be quite alerting and show prolonged effects on focus and the ability to attend. Just a few minutes on a swing can carry on into the classroom, office space or meeting room improving the ability to concentrate. The physical workout with increased endorphins and better blood flow to the brain can mean you are now on high alert.
Some individuals do not process the world around them efficiently and so their nervous system misinterprets sensory information. When that happens we say they have sensory integration dysfunction. Swinging can have a positive effect on those individuals by stimulating their sense of motion and vestibular orientation.
Have you ever seen a sad person coming off a swing? Not likely. Swinging is a mood booster. As you swing, your endorphin levels are released. Swinging is just pure pleasure and the pressure on the body and the skin receptors can stimulate skin receptors and actually elelvate the mood.
Reach out to us and let us help you select the perfect swing for your classroom or special needs.