It is becoming a trend for people to use balance balls in the office as chairs instead of the traditional office chairs that we are used to. Is this a good idea? Do balance balls provide benefits that conventional office chairs do not? What do the professionals feel about these new trendy office chairs?
Balance balls have been used in many different industries for many years. Some say they have positive effects on the body, and others will tell you that they are dangerous and not meant to be used. As long as you use balance balls correctly, they are safe to use.
Today, we will answer these questions and more.
Table of Contents
- Is It Good To Sit On A Balance Ball At Work?
- How Do You Sit On A Balance Ball Properly & Safely?
- What Are The Benefits Of A Balance Ball Chair?
- For How Long Should You Sit On A Balance Ball?
- Final Thoughts
Is It Good To Sit On A Balance Ball At Work?
The short answer is yes, it is good for you to use a balance ball at work. With that being said, everything should be done in moderation. You need to be aware that a balance ball is going to help better your posture only if you stay aware of when your posture is lacking.
Sitting at your desk all day can cause muscular problems that might result in you having to see a health professional such as a massage therapist or a physiotherapist to help work out the kinks in your muscles. Balance balls will help you strengthen weak muscles, which will cause fewer muscle issues in the future.
How Do You Sit On A Balance Ball Properly & Safely?
You will not get the full benefits of a balance ball at work if you do not sit on the balance ball correctly. So, let’s take a look at how to sit on the ball correctly so that you keep yourself safe and get the full benefit at the same time.
- Ensure that you buy the right balance ball. The general rule of thumb is that people 4–5 feet tall should buy a ball that is 18 inches in diameter. If you are 5–6 feet tall, a 26-inch ball is your best option. If you are over 6 feet, then a 30-inch ball is the correct ball size for your height.
- The next step is to inflate the ball. You want to make sure that the ball is inflated enough so that you can sit with your feet resting comfortably on the floor. Your legs should be at a 90-degree angle. Check that your balance ball is pumped up correctly every morning before you start to work. Balance balls do tend to lose air over time. If you feel that your posture shifts throughout the day, you need to inflate your ball again.
- Now that your ball is ready, it is time to take a seat. When you sit on the balance ball, ensure that you tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your back straight. Place your hands on your desk and keep your shoulders relaxed. Your shoulders should be at a 90-degree angle when they are relaxed on your desk. This is the correct sitting position for a balance ball.
- If you need to increase your stability on the ball, you can always widen your feet apart to give you more control of the ball.
Even though a balance ball can help you build stability and strength, you still need to keep in mind that you are sitting on a moving object. Maintain a firm footing by balancing on your heels directly on the floor at all times. This will ensure that you do not fall over and injure yourself. You can place an office chair mat underneath your feet to ensure that your shoes do not allow you to slide around.
Sharp objects can puncture the ball. You want to keep your sharp office supplies away from your balance ball at all times.
Do not sit on your balance ball for long periods of time. Even though you might have the correct posture, staying in one position for a long time will cause issues. It is essential that you get up every hour, walk around a little bit, and allow your muscles to move around freely.
Clean your office balance ball with warm soapy water. Leave the ball to dry completely before you try and sit on it.
What Are The Benefits Of A Balance Ball Chair?
People have used balanced balls to help strengthen their muscles for many years. Pilates instructors will train their clients on the balance balls to help them with back problems. The stronger your muscles become, the less lower back pain you will experience.
Below are a few benefits that you could have when using a balance ball as an office chair:
Can Improve Your Posture
When you sit on a balance ball, you engage your core muscles. This helps to improve your posture on a daily basis. You will notice that you will become more aware of your posture when you are sitting on the ball.
Professionals suggest that you should alternate between your normal office chair and the balance ball. This will give you more lumbar support and keep you sitting up straight all day.
Helps Reduce Lower Back Pain
When you sit with good posture, you can reduce your lower back pain over time. It is important to note that if your back feels sore while you’re on the ball, you should switch to your standard office chair for a bit.
This will reduce the stress on your lower back. You might have to keep switching between seating for a few weeks until your core muscles become strong enough to hold you up on the ball for extended periods of time.
It Causes You To Alternate Your Position
The material of the bouncing ball causes your body to move around constantly. Due to the fact that it can feel unstable at times, you tend to stand up more, move around and adjust your sitting position.
Your blood flow will increase in your body because you are constantly moving around. The better your blood flow, the less likely you are to feel stiff and sore after a long day at the desk.
Using a balance ball will help you move around more which will reduce these health issues on your body.
It Helps Improve Your Balance
A study published in Sports Med Journal found that “using an exercise ball can have a positive influence on measures of strength, balance, functional performance, and falls”. In other words, sitting on the balance ball for long periods of time is going to help improve your balance over time.
Strengthens Your Core
When you sit on a balance ball, there is no back support. This means you have to engage your core in order for you to sit up straight. Balance balls help you build core strength and improve core stability by making deep muscles close to your spine work.
By improving your core strength, you can prevent injuries, reduce back pain, and help your muscles protect your inner organs.
Increase Your Daily Calorie Burn
According to the University of New Hampshire, “sitting on a balance ball can increase your daily calorie burn”. Even though the amount might be small, the more you sit on the ball, the more you will work on your core.
By working on your core, you will be able to increase your metabolism. You can lose weight while at work by sitting on your balance ball. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
For How Long Should You Sit On A Balance Ball?
Professionals from different industries will tell you that you should stay on the balance ball for different amounts of time.
Typically, you should not sit on a balance ball for longer than two hours at a time. After two hours, you need to get up and move around. If you sit for longer than two hours, your muscles can become fatigued. You might end up feeling pain in your middle and lower back.
This is when you should switch from your balance ball to your standard office chair. Give your muscles a break before going back to the ball.
Traditionally, balance balls are used in gymnasiums and other exercise facilities. It is now slowly becoming apparent that they have entered the office.
In today’s times, exercise and work can be done simultaneously.
Balance balls might not have replaced office chairs, and they do provide benefits to your body. Keep in mind; you should not use a balance ball as an office chair if you are:
- Feeling dizzy
- Have pre-existing back problems such as a slipped disk. Ask your healthcare professional beforehand if it is safe for you to use the balance ball.
- Broken bones or strained muscles
- Suffer from low blood pressure