I recently came across this article, which talks about using an exercise ball as your home or office chair. I have used an exercise ball as a chair before, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Here are some of the benefits of using an exercise ball as your chair. Whether you spend your desk time at the office, or studying at home for that next exam, office ball chairs can help you in many ways.
1. Forces proper spine alignment. Because an exercise ball is not stable, your body needs to try to balance itself on it. The perfect spinal posture is coincidently the easiest to balance with. Thus, your body will automatically try to align itself into the proper posture. This helps improve your spinal health, and decrease back pains.
2. Causes you to frequently change positions. An exercise ball causes to you to change your position often to balance. For example, if you turn 45 degrees to face the phone, your body will assume a new position. This helps reduce damage caused by prolonged sitting in the same position.
3. Fitness is at your fingertips. Another great thing about using this alternative to a chair, is that you can do stretches or mini-workouts whenever you want, without getting up. If you’ve ever stuck waiting for a minute or two, you can make productive use of that time with a quick workout or stretch. Because it’s much more convenient, you will probably do it more, thus resulting in better health.
4. Improve your balance. This one is very understandable. Sitting on an unstable surface all day will improve your sense of balance, as well as the reactions of your muscles. The result? An overall better balance, that can be observed out of the office.
5. Get that 6-pack you’ve been wanting. Your body primarily uses your core (abdominal) muscles to help compensate for changes in balance. Thus, your essentially getting a low-key abdominal workout. This may not sound like a lot, but consider the amount of time you spend on your computer at the office, or at home. Those hours can build up, and result in a strengthening of ab muscles.
6. Improves your circulation. Using an exercise ball will keep the blood flowing to all parts of your body, throughout the day. A desk chair on the other hand, reduces circulation to some parts of the body after prolonged use.
7. You’ll feel more energetic. It has been proven that staying in one position, will make you more tired, while moving around and being active with give you more energy. With an exercise ball as a chair, you will feel much more energized after you finish your work.
8. Burn up to 350 calories per day. More movement during the day = more calories burnt. Burning 350 calories per day = losing one pound of fat every 10 days. You may not burn quite 350, but nonetheless, it will help you stay fit.
9. Really cheap. Specialized exercise balls designed for sitting usage can range from $15 to $80. Much cheaper than buying an ergonomic chair, which can range anywhere from $100 to $400 and up.
10. C’mon, its fun! Who doesn’t like the idea of bouncing around on an exercise ball all day. Exercise balls are an exciting alternative to chairs, and may just give that spark of fun to your day.
Update: I just bought an exercise ball for myself. So far, I am really enjoying it! My only complaint is that in the morning when I am half-awake, it is hard to balance. I found this cheap exercise ball which is great for trying it out, if you don’t want to invest $40-$50 in a ball which you may never actually use. Also, before you buy, make sure you know what size is right for you. I am about 5 feet, 6 inches, and the 65cm ball fits me well. Your legs should be almost parallel with the ground. If you are above 5ft10 I would go with a 75cm ball.
Have you personally had experience with using an exercise ball as a chair? Drop us a comment on how it worked out for you.