Using a ball chair has both pros and cons, which should all be carefully weighed up against each other before a decision to buy one is made.
Exercise Ball Office Chair Pros
1. The pros include the fact that sitting atop a ball chair will force your spine to be properly aligned, as the need to balance oneself coincides with perfect spinal posture. The inherent instability of this type of seating will also cause you to change the body’s positions frequently in order to retain your balance. This, in turn, will help to minimize damage caused by remaining in the same seating position for prolonged periods, and will, in fact, cause the abs to flex, strengthening them.
2. A further advantage lies in the opportunity to do mini workouts or stretches without having to leave your place of work, perhaps while waiting on the phone (call center or help desk type environment), for instance, putting fitness at your disposal anytime. The necessity of balancing all the time while seated on a ball chair will create your overall sense of balance to be greatly improved. This also includes improving your muscle reactions, reflexes, and blood circulation.
3. As compensating for repeated changes in balance is mostly accomplished by abdominal (core) muscles, this will also result in the same kind of strengthening of your abdominal muscles as a low-intensity abdominal workout would produce. The continually required movement to retain balance will also aid circulation as blood flow is not as restricted as it would be on a regular chair.
4. The extra movement required will also keep you more energetic than sitting in one position all day long, while at the same time burning off some calories each day. The fun part is bouncing on the ball, which also encourages movement and prevents your body from being totally stagnant and getting stiff.
Exercise Ball Office Chair Cons
1. There are also some downsides to ball chairs; for instance, some subjects within a specific study group reported some discomfort after spending prolonged periods on these chairs. Researchers believe this may be due to an increase in soft tissue compression caused by the greater area of contact in comparison to ordinary office chairs. The good news is that a ball chair could potentially be used starting in small time intervals and strengthening the core.
2. Trying to keep one’s balance not only offers an opportunity for a very low key abdominal workout, but it also represents a risk of falling. Individuals with poor balance or a badly coordinated move could cause injury through a fall. There are other ergonomic type office chairs and kneeling chairs that can be used in place of a ball chair, although aren’t as robust and beneficial as a ball chair. Another risk of injury is presented through a sudden bursting of the ball chair. Most balls are created with an anti-burst material which can hold various weights depending on the quality of the ball, however, they could be ruptured by accidentally rolling over a dropped screw or thumbtack. This can always be avoided by keeping a neat, clean area making sure there are no pointy objects on the floor.
As we can see, ball chairs do have both positive and negative aspects, many of which rely on an individual’s current health condition. Being aware of these various precautions may help to make the right choice for one’s personal requirements. Be sure to check with your chiropractor or doctor if you are unsure about whether a ball chair is right for you. Also be sure to supervise children around these exercise balls, as they can cause injury if not used properly.