A stress ball or simply hand exercise ball is a flexible plastic toy, typically not larger than 7 centimeters in diameter, that are squeezed into the palm and manipulated with the fingers, supposed to relieve muscle stress and tension or even to increase the strength of the wrist. It looks like a marble or rubber ball with soft, round edges and a ring at one end. One uses the thumb and first finger to squeeze and hold onto the ball, while the other fingers help to rotate the ball as well as extend it in various directions. Holding the stress ball over the head for a period of time will reportedly stretch the tendons in the neck. The toy is intended to be used in place of a pillow or pad of some kind, but its buoyancy may also aid in supporting an injured shoulder or back.

Stress Balls For Learning

Stress balls were originally developed for use in laboratories and industrial settings to provide a simple, inexpensive testing device. The original use is probably a lot different than the one most people assume. The toy can actually be very effective if you understand how to use it properly. Many organisations and teaching bodies are starting to deploy the stress ball as an inexpensive and effective teaching aid. As with most things, though, there are some basic precautions to follow when using stress balls.

How To Use A Stress Ball

One of the most basic ways to effectively use stress balls is to squeeze them between your thumb and forefinger while holding them above the head. This squeezes the ball against the palm and helps to relieve stress in the neck. Squeezing the ball below the elbow will also relieve stress on that same area, though the pressure must be slightly lessened compared to squeezing in the upper hand. Remember to try to squeeze the ball in such a way that the thumb and forefinger work together, rather than merely squeezing the two fingers.

Things To Remember

When using stress balls, it’s important to avoid the direct contact with any heat source. In general, heat won’t help to relieve tension because it causes tissue damage. Instead, the best thing to do when using heat is to dampen the heat of the heat source you’re using. This makes it easier to apply the heat to the ball itself and thus to effectively relieve the tension.

Keep in mind that stress balls aren’t just a great stress reliever tool. They’re a great way to enhance your overall well-being by relieving stress and tension related to everyday life. They can also be used for stretching as well, especially if you hold them above the head while squeezing. Stretching has numerous positive health benefits.



Overall, the best way to use stress balls is to take them everywhere. Not only will they feel great, but they will serve to improve your wellbeing. They’re inexpensive and can be found nearly anywhere, including local supermarket and sporting goods stores. While they aren’t likely to replace a pillow or a good night’s sleep, they certainly can make a valuable addition to any home.