Design and Manufacture
AOK for over 15 years, has been involved in the design and innovation of new products and the improvement of existing rehabilitation, exercise and performance equipment.
» Innovative Design
We encourage development of a unique skill base to evaluate the tools and techniques of product development. This includes knowledge of the physiological response of the body when exercising or performing simple functional tasks and interacting with various kinds of equipment. AOK fostering research within Universities across Australia will continue to develop a wide range of creative, analytical, experimental and practical skills to deal with the many problems that must be overcome to improve function control, balance and skill acquisition for rehabilitation, fitness, well-being or sporting performance.
» Innovative Materials
An ongoing evaluation program at the University of Newcastle helped in the development of Duralon™ a form of PVC. Duralon™ is ideal for rotational moulding. This is the process used for hollow objects such as the mediBall PRO Plus®, mediBall MAX™, sensaBall™, and Dura Discs™. Rotational moulding is carried out in four steps.
- setting of mould
- product extraction.
» What is Rotational Moulding ?
First, the required weight of Duralon™ (each ball size is different) is placed into the mould which is then closed. While rotated around two rotational axes the mould is first heated to the melting and curing temperature of the plastic. Then it is cooled before opening and the finished mediBall® is removed, then inflated and tested. It is then inspected, vacuum deflated and packed for shipment.
» No Phthalates in AOK Balls
"In line with current research and health guidelines AOK has led the way again in Swiss Ball manufacture by eliminating all phthalates from its products. AOK products are manufactured in Australia" says Bradley Wilson, Managing Director of AOK.
Evidence Now In
The risks of exposure to various classes of phthalates (plastic softeners used to make PVC soft and elastic) have been recognised for many years. Recently however a fuller understanding has been gained through various international research programs. Studies by the University of Rochester Medical Center and the Mount Sinai Children’s Medical Health Center have shown various links to poor health outcomes as a result of phthalate exposure.
The primary risk is through injestion by chewing plastics directly or by eating food stuffs stored or processed in contact with plastics. However while the risk of exposure via exercise products would appear to be low, users such as children or pregnant women should avoid using products containing phthalates until more research is completed.
AOK philosophy is to supply the highest quality and safest products available. At the time of this publication we are aware of no other swiss or exercise ball manufacturer who does not use phthalates in their products. This is particularly true of Chinese manufactured balls.
For additional information regarding phthalates you should with Australia’s leading authorities – the Vinyl Association and the Phthalate Information Association.
Evaluation & Testing
AOK commenced its Swiss ball development and testing program in 1996. The University of Newcastle was selected because of its international reputation in materials testing. Testing protocols have been developed which are considered the best in the world for inflatable PVC products.
» Burst Resistance
mediBall PRO Plus® and mediBall MAX™ have been tested to ensure product consistency and evaluate new manufacturing protocols. These Swiss Balls have variously supported static loads well in excess of 4,000 kg with burst-resistance to a load of 500 kg. This does not mean “puncture proof” but protects you from explosive deflation. Burst resistance means AOK Swiss balls are designed to take approx 30 secs to deflate if accidentally punctured. We also test for deflation under load and durability.
» No Swiss, Therapy or Exercise Ball is 100% safe...
...as it is not possible to test every single ball. By having an ongoing Quality program in place AOK endeavours to
reduce the risk of ball failure. We pre-inflate and inspect
every ball we make and have achieved exceptionally low
numbers of faulty balls.
Over the past 5 years we have had a return rate of less than
0.2% - this compares with 10%-15% of some European
and Asian balls.
It is critical that the user care for the balls they use - much like maintaining a car tyre. The more hours of use and abuse it gets - the shorter its life. This is especially so in a commercial environment where there is little supervision.
- Please refer to our Safety Policy for more detailed instructions.
- This is result of the balls being kicked around and striking sharp edges, which damages the inner surface of the skin - not always apparent from the outside. These leave resulting fracture lines which may totally reduce its burst resistant qualities.