Over recent years there have been reports of anti burst and burst resistant Swiss balls exploding during use and injuring users. Not all balls are the same quality despite what their labels may indicate and the use of balls may put the user at risk of serious injury. Here are some important considerations:
» Age of Swiss Ball
Swiss balls should be treated like car tyres. The more and harder they are used the sooner they will lose their burst resistance. We suggest that gyms and studios should rotate their Swiss balls every 12 months if there is high use or the possibility of abuse. Domestic users have reported 10 years of use when the Swiss ball is well cared for.
DO NOT use Swiss balls that exhibit such damage.
» Abuse & Damage
Swiss balls are very commonly kicked around a gym or studio. Impact with an edge (equipment, furniture etc) may damage the inside of the ball surface. Over inflation can also weaken the ball. Check that it is not over inflated (see Inflation Chart) This may not be apparent on casual inspection. This may diminish the burst resistance totally and leave the user at risk. Always look closely for surface marks and abrasions. If you are not sure do not use the ball. If you are in a gym, check the history and condition of the ball with an Instructor.
» Know the Users’ History
Swiss balls provide an unstable environment up to 85cm above the floor. If the user has an injury, medical condition or lack of neuromuscular ability to deal with this dangerous environment – they are at risk of injury if they fall. Always seek advice from a trained professional if you are unsure.
If you are unsure of your suitability to use a Swiss ball, seek assistance from an Instructor.
It may be advisable not to do supine (back on the ball) exercises without assistance.
*DISCLAIMER: IF YOUR BALANCE IS POOR, UNSUPERVISED EXERCISE MAY PUT YOU AT RISK OF INJURY.
» Evaluate the Environment
Do not exercise near equipment that you may fall against or which may damage the Swiss ball. Ideally you should do ball exercises on a padded floor or a thick mat (15mm) to reduce impact injuries if you fall or the Swiss ball bursts. Balls that are left in direct sunlight, in cars or hot environments, are over inflated, or have surface damage, are likely to have a reduced burst resistance.
*DISCLAIMER: ALWAYS EXERCISE ON A PADDED FLOOR TO AVOID INJURY DUE TO FALLING FROM A BALL.
» Incorrect Inflation
The materials for Swiss balls are almost always a form of PVC. They all have different performance characteristics. Always follow the inflation instructions exactly to avoid damage to the ball skin. Incorrectly inflated Swiss balls may lead to catastrophic failure and subsequent injury during use. For example, AOK Swiss balls require a 2 stage inflation.