What Are Faulty Stability Balls?
Unfortunately, there is no strict definition of a “faulty stability ball.” There have been several cases of people suffering injuries while using stability balls, and the manufacturers have been blamed. Unless the ball is tested, it is impossible to know whether it was made poorly. Manufacturers will often perform quality checks on their balls. If the ball has been made poorly, it may be remanufactured or replaced with a brand new one. A contaminated or poorly manufactured ball may also be dangerous to use. If someone were to use a ball like this, they could be at risk of injury.
P.O.P.! Goes the Stability Ball! Crash Goes the Client.
If any of your clients are using a stability ball at home or work, you need to check if their stability ball has been recalled.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has sent out a recall of over 3,000,000 stability balls. These stability balls were made by E.B. Brands and were named Bally Total Fitness, Everlast, Valeo, and Body Fit Fitness Balls.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has had 47 complaints of people that have received fractures or bruises from using their stability.
If you go to the website of the manufacturer of stability balls in question, they report that reason why stability balls have been exploding is:
People have been overinflating them.
As a fitness professional, have you ever been asked by your manager or members to inflate the stability balls because they feel a little flat even though they are the specified height?
Next time, let them know that in the U.S.A., people have fractured bones or bruised themselves when they have over-inflated a stability ball.
I know that lower-end stability balls don’t hold their shape and sink. They feel soft. People want them to feel firm again, so they pump them up, which affects the stability ball’s safety.
I have had experience with stability balls bursting on me. I had one spontaneously burst at a facility I was working at. It popped in half like a balloon. Luckily, it was not in use and the corner.
The second time a stability ball popped on me, I was teaching my Advance Core Stability course and had the stability ball I used to puncture. I figured out a hole in the ball, and I had slowly and gradually ride the ball to the floor. It was an anti-burst stability ball that slowly leaked rather than exploding. I was wondering why the exercise was getting more manageable and more accessible.
It was Saturday night, so I was into reading stability ball warnings. Suppose you look at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission press release on the exploding stability balls. In that case, they recommend that you go and download updated instructions on how to inflate a stability ball safely.
Because the stability ball is such a standard piece of equipment, there have been hundreds of reports of injuries resulting from “faulty stability balls.” Most of these injuries have been minor and nothing more than a bruised ego.
3 Tips to Prevent a Stability Ball from EXPLODING on You
There were a few recommendations on how to exercise on a stability ball that stood out safely:
1. The ball should not hold more than 330 lbs./150 kgs. of weight.
This is always an interesting fact. If you do any dynamic or bouncing exercises with the stability ball, it is easy to get over 330 lbs. of force.
2. Using additional weights while performing exercises using this ball is not recommended. Extra weights could potentially cause the user to exceed the maximum weight.
How many of us have clients to use dumbbells on a stability ball?
3. DO NOT inflate your exercise ball when the room temperature where you will use the ball is greater than 90° F/32° C OR less than 65° F/18° C.
This is an interesting one. When are most fitness equipment stores busy? In the winter. Do people or gyms keep their houses or facilities at these temperatures?
There were a lot more to the manufacturer’s instructors, but those were the ones that stood out.
The crazy thing is, I checked with the Consumer Product Safety Division of Health Canada and found no warming or voluntary recall. The boxes look very similar to stability balls I have seen at Winner’s and Zellers.
I want to hear your story about exploding stability balls. Leave your account in the comment section.
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video of 4 Stability Ball Exercises for Balance
Rick Kaselj, MS
P.S. – If you get clients to sit on a stability ball at work, you should read my article on Why Never to Use a Stability Ball As a Chair.
P.S.S. – If you are looking for some safe stability ball exercises, check out Your Stability Ball Exercise Guide