QUESTION: Wear Time for Weighted Vests/Compression Garments?

QUESTION:

I am looking for a weighted vest protocol and was wondering if you have one that could be attached to your website.

GWEN’S ANSWER:

There really isn’t a protocol because research is inconclusive on the use of weighted vests. But here are the guidelines I feel best about and recommend:

Weighted Garments

  • For kids with typical muscle tone, 5 to 10% of the child’s body weight is best.
  • Wear time should be 20 to 50 minutes based on convenience. For example, if the student is going to a class where he could benefit from vest wear, I would recommend leaving it on for the duration of that class/subject.
  • Leave the vest off for at least that long before next planned wear time. We used to worry about habituation, but research really doesn’t indicate that it occurs with weighted or compression garments—probably because children continue to move and breathe against them, which changes the input sufficiently to prevent habituation.

Compression Garments

  • For kids with low muscle tone, I recommend compression garments rather than weighted ones.
  • I feel comfortable allowing kids to leave them on all day, especially for kids who are self-conscious and would like to wear them under their regular clothing.

The difference in wear-time recommendation between weighted and compression garments is based on the assumption that habituation isn’t occurring. Therefore, length of time is a factor for weighted garments because we are imposing weight on a young developing body and that will alter body dynamics and ergonomics. But with compression garments we don’t have the same concern.

I hope that helps!

Best Wishes,
Gwen