A stress ball is a flexible, pliable toy that is available in many different shapes and sizes and fits comfortably in the palm of a person’s hand. It is squeezed in the hand and manipulated by the fingers, ostensibly to either help relieve emotional or mental stress and muscle tension or to exercise the muscles of the hand. Stress balls can also be used to relieve pain or discomfort that is sometimes present in the hand as a result of performing repetitive movements like typing on a keyboard for long periods.
There are lots of types of stress balls. Many are a closed-cell polyurethane foam rubber. The process for making this type of stress ball is by injecting the liquid components of the foam into a mold. The resulting chemical reaction creates carbon dioxide bubbles as a byproduct, which in turn creates the foam. The end product is a solid form, usually a ball shape with a smooth surface, which is full of tiny air bubbles.
Stress balls, especially those used in physical therapy, can also contain gel of different densities inside a rubber or cloth skin. The inside of stress balls are sometimes made with gel, foam, or some other soft material and then covered with any durable fabric that can endure a high amount of handling. Homemade stress balls can be made from rubber balloons that are filled with cornstarch, flour, or some other safe household filler. Some people even prefer making them from all organic fillers such as organic rice, beans, or grains. However, professionally made stress balls are more durable for every day use as they are normally made with higher quality materials. Some stress balls are even made to emit a pleasing scent like lilac or peppermint when they are handled.
Despite the name, stress balls are not always spherical. Many stress toys are molded in amusing shapes and screen or transfer printed with corporate logos. They are presented to employees and clients as promotional gifts. Stress balls are the third most popular promotional gift in the UK. There are literally hundreds of different shapes to meet any marketing requirements. Stress toys are a staple of cubicles where repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome are common. Because of the many shapes now available, stress balls are generically known as stress relievers, and are a popular corporate promotional product.
Stress balls are usually not safe for small children or animals as they may be torn or punctured and the child or animal may be exposed to very messy or even toxic materials contained inside the balls. However, knowing how stress balls are made can come in handy for craft activities for children over the age of eight and adults who want to have a unique, but useful, stress reliever made from the materials of their choosing. Since they can be made either by hand or by a company who specializes in their manufacture, a wide selection of stress balls can be found to fit almost any person’s taste or personality. Regardless of the shape or size, most find that stress balls are hard to resist handling whenever one is nearby.
So, how does the stress ball help in relieving stress? You experience muscle tension when your hand is turned into a fist, even when there is nothing in your palm. Once you release the grip, muscle tension is also released. Gripping and releasing your hand exercises your muscles and helps you reduce stress. The stress ball gives you something to grip. This helps make the stress relieving exercises more effective. Stress balls are made of either foam or gel and easily squeezable in the palm of your hand and released causing a calm and soothing effect. It helps to refocus you energy and lower your blood pressure, which helps to reduce stress.
Help clients and employees reduce the stress in their everyday lives by giving them custom imprinted stress balls from Pinnacle Promotions!