Make time to swing regardless of the weather! You can set up a sensory swing system indoors or out. Swinging promotes wellness, core control, relaxation, sensory integration, vestibular orientation, and motor planning. People of all ages can benefit from swings. Here’s how to choose the right one for you, whether you want calming, exercise, work or play.
Think about where you plan to hang your swing. You can use hardware to hang it from the ceiling or suspend it in the doorway with a swing bar. Heading outside? Use an outdoor frame that’s built to weather the elements. (You can suspend a swing from a tree limb if it’s been professionally inspected for sturdiness.)
Two-point suspension swings allow for a front-to-back motion and linear acceleration, which is great for people who are sensitive to too much movement. They also encourage pumping and a great core workout! You can hang these types of swings from a doorway bar, two ceiling hooks, a two-point ceiling suspension system, or a swing frame.
Single point swings provide rotation, which provides much more intense input. The key is to make sure you have a swivel device attached to the ceiling hook or swing frame. Because you need at least 6 feet of clearance for a rotating swing, these types of swings cannot be hung in a doorway.
Do you find yourself craving fresh air throughout the day? Then an outdoor swing is a right choice for you! Swinging outside immerses you in a complete sensory experience, combining sights, sounds, and smells of nature.
If you want something that can be used year-round, no matter the weather, opt for an indoor swing. There are many options for incorporating calming and heavy work while using an indoor swing.
Swings come in a multitude of materials, from inflatable to canvas to PVC. Each type of fabric has different benefits, ranging from bounce to durability. Do you want one that provides compression and stretch? Will the swing be used very frequently and therefore need to be extra durable? Choose the material that supports your swinging goals.
Whatever swing you choose, there are so many benefits that you’ll experience. The vestibular input from swinging can help improve focus and attention. Try combining it with a weighted focus kit for a more significant impact on your ability to focus. We hope you enjoy the ride!
Love your swing? We want to know which you have! Tell us in the comments below, and leave us a review for the swing you chose!
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This post was originally posted on 06/05/2016 by Ilana Danneman, PT and Aviva Weiss, MS, OTR/L. It was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on 11/19/2021.