Complete Guide on Sitting on Balance Balls

It's time to trade your regular office chair for an exercise ball chair. It's one of the best ways to squeeze in some fitness while you work without disturbing your workmates. 

The ball chair has recently become a crowd favourite, and not just by a physical therapist. It helps improve your balance, core stability and reduce back pain.

It's time to reawaken your abdomen and pelvis muscles! Let's discuss the benefits and drawbacks of sitting on an exercise ball.

Benefits of Sitting on a Balance Ball at a Desk

Balance ball for work

Prolonged sitting leads to sitting problems that are hard to correct. You might develop poor posture, with your shoulder hunched forward all day. 

Sitting like this for long periods is bad. Imagine being in this position during an eight-hour workday. Yikes! Sitting on an exercise chair can address this and restore your proper posture. 

Improved Posture

Most people aren't aware of their posture while sitting on a chair.  

This is not the case when sitting on an exercise ball because you're more likely to be aware of sitting upright and have better posture.

You'll have to engage your back muscles to sit up properly. More importantly, you won't be able to slouch or risk losing your balance on the gym ball. 

Enhanced Core Strength and Stability

The beauty of using a stability ball is that you must keep your core constantly engaged to remain stable. 

Exercise balls require core activation, so you're sure to work out your core muscle strength in no time. 

You can even burn extra calories while at it because balancing on a stability ball can be tricky. You'll have to use all your muscles, even on your thigh.

Increased Caloric Expenditure

Research studies show that using an exercise ball chair leads to increased calorie burn. This is perfect for people looking to lose weight while sitting at a desk all day. 

You'll come out of your office with better core endurance than you imagined! Keep your feet flat on the floor and assume a proper sitting posture while working. 

Active Sitting and Fidgeting

Using an exercise ball promotes active sitting. Your body stays dynamic and moving, increasing your trunk muscle activation. 

An exercise ball works like magic because it's meant to keep moving and stay unstable. The only way to keep it stable is to consciously engage your core. 

Psychological and Productivity Benefits

One of our favourite reasons for using an exercise ball is it keeps us awake the entire day. We're more aware of what we're doing and stay dynamic and moving. 

Unlike a regular chair, we usually doze off after a couple of hours of sitting down. 

Drawbacks and Potential Risk

Muscle pain and fatigue from work

Keep in mind that there are drawbacks to sitting on yoga balls all day long. We've listed some of them here to help you weigh the pros and cons. 

Discomfort and Muscle Fatigue

As we've repeatedly said, your core must always be engaged when sitting on a ball. After prolonged periods, you'll feel discomfort and even muscle fatigue around that area. 

Make sure not to overdo it and make a schedule for when to use the ball

Lack of Proper Support

Unlike a desk chair, an exercise ball has no back support or an armrest. You won't be able to lean back and relax whenever you want. 

They don't provide lumbar support, which causes some upper back and lower back pain. This is not good for people with back problems.

Risk of Falling or Injuries

Exercise balls keep moving and can roll across the floor and in every direction. Their instability could cause you to fall over your chair and even suffer injuries. 

Sitting on a stability ball requires some getting used to, so there's no need to immediately rush to switch your regular chairs for an exercise ball. 

Distraction and Reduced Efficiency

Sitting on a ball chair is fun and keeps us active and on the go. Unfortunately, you might be distracted when trying to do your work.

Instead of doing your case report, you might bounce on your ball all day! 

Unsuitability for Long Hours or Specific Tasks

Unfortunately, sitting on an exercise ball negatively affects your work productivity. 

Also, sitting on a stability ball is uncomfortable, especially when you're doing long tasks. 

Alternatives to a Balance Ball Chair

Instead of using an exercise ball, there are some alternatives you can check out. 

It has the same benefit of reducing any associated health risks of sitting all day but without the risk of suffering injuries when sitting on balance balls. 

Ergonomic Office Chairs

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Based on our experience with ergonomic chairs, it can improve your sitting posture. It provides good lumbar support, which a traditional chair can't give. 

Sitting for long periods would be bearable, especially since its headrest can keep your head centred. 

This is excellent for people with musculoskeletal disorders who want an ergonomic sitting position while sitting on their desk chair. 

Kneeling Chairs

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If you suffer from back pain, kneeling chairs are a great choice. It helps relieve any tension in your lower back and helps distribute your weight evenly. 

It reduces the likelihood of spinal shrinkage because it helps align your spine. Soon enough, you'll also notice some improvements in your back and core muscles. 

The only downside is that much of the weight goes to your knee. Therefore, you might experience some pain.

Standing Desks

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Standing desks are great for keeping you on your feet in the office.

Instead of sitting on an office chair all day long, you can adjust your table to be in a standing position.

Research shows that standing helps burn more calories than sitting all day. It's also great for stretching your body and improving your posture. 

Active Sitting Cushions

Similar to an exercise ball, active cushions engage your core. The only difference is you don't have to worry about balancing yourself on the stability ball.

Chair-Attached Balance Ball Options

If you want the benefits of using a yoga ball but minus the risks, consider using a chair-attached balance ball. 

It's a yoga ball that rests on a chair and stays stable. You don't have to worry about too much energy expenditure, especially around your core muscles. 

Integration of a Balance Ball into the Workspace

Using a stability ball in the office is one of the best things you can do for your body. Here are some tips to help you bring your exercise ball into the office. 

Choosing the Right Size and Type of Ball

As a golden rule, choose an exercise ball that can fit your table. You want to sit properly and reach your desk while sitting on the ball. 

At the same time, choose the type you can use as a desk chair. Make sure not to pick a ball that is too soft. Doing so will give you a hard time sitting on it.

Proper Desk and Monitor Height Adjustment

Always choose an exercise ball chair that comfortably sits on your desk. You should be able to reach your desk and view your monitor properly, even whilst seated on the ball. 

Safety Tips and Precautions

You can do several exercises in the office with your stability ball. Never throw or wheel them across the room. 

You don't want to risk the safety of others so that you can squeeze a good workout at your desk. 

At the same time, don't leave your exercise ball unattended! Leave it in a safe place that won't disrupt others while working. 

Establishing a Schedule for Balance Ball Usage

Establish a schedule for when to use the exercise ball in the office as much as possible. You can use it for several hours to improve your posture while sitting on a desk chair. 

A good starting point is to use the exercise ball every hour. This should help you get used to the ball's motion and exercise your core constantly. 

Scientific Research and Studies

Research claims on pros and cons of balance balls at work

There is definitely enough research showing the pros and cons of using an exercise ball. These studies should help you decide whether an exercise ball is for you.

Research Supporting the Benefits

The U.S Army Public Health Center (APHC), no less, recognise that sitting on an exercise ball leads to various benefits like the following:

  • Expanded range of movement
  • Improved posture
  • Reduce chances of suffering from a health disease
  • Strengthening of the core

However, finding a comfortable starting position might be hard for first-timers.

Research Indicating Potential Risks

The APHC also recognises risks associated with using an exercise ball. You'll likely suffer back pain, especially since it doesn't provide back support. 

You won't be able to switch sides, and all the weight will be felt on your back. To avoid feeling any discomfort, make sure not to sit for a long time.

Sitting for a prolonged period isn't advisable, especially if you don't want to feel pain and discomfort often. 

The Importance of Personalizing Workspace Solutions

Various independent research shows that allowing employees to personalise their workplace boosts productivity

Employees are more likely to feel motivated and productive, especially if they feel comfortable in their environment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we leave without parting words, allow us to answer some of the FAQs we get about our favourite stability ball. 

Is It Beneficial to Sit on a Balance Ball at a Desk to Improve Posture?

As we've mentioned above, there are a lot of benefits when you sit on a stability ball, especially in your posture. 

You'll have to be conscious of how you sit down and constantly engage your core. Sitting on a stability ball helps you burn calories around that area, unlike when you sit on a normal chair. 

Can Sitting on a Balance Ball at a Desk Cause Discomfort or Health Issues?

The downside of sitting on a yoga ball is it can cause some discomfort in your core and back. You might want to stretch more often just to relieve the strain on your abs. 

What Are the Potential Risks of Using a Stability Ball as a Chair for Extended Periods?

Sitting on a yoga ball for too long is highly discouraged because you might experience lower back pain and discomfort in your hip flexors.

This is especially true for people still getting used to sitting on a yoga ball for a long time. Some might even pull a hamstring or any part of their skeletal muscle when not careful. 

Are There Any Studies or Scientific Research Supporting the Use of Stability Balls as Chairs?

Many studies support the idea that using a ball boosts work productivity. 

It also inadvertently serves as a good exercise you can do in the office to strengthen your vertebral column and thorax. 

If your hip bone starts to hurt or your back curve needs some stretching, it's time to stand up and raise your arms. Give your body a good stretch to relieve any low back pain. 

How Can One Incorporate a Balance Ball Into Their Workspace Effectively and Safely?

Always ask your boss if you can bring an exercise ball to the office. Make sure it won't be a workplace hazard, especially if you're working on a job site! 

Make sure that the yoga ball isn't too big for your desk. You might be unable to view your computer screen properly and become unproductive all day. 

Conclusion

Having a stability ball around will be a good choice if you want to improve your posture and exercise while sitting at a desk. 

Sitting on a ball has advantages for your body; you no longer need to bring too much exercise equipment to your office! 

You can improve your spinal posture and strengthen your human back muscles. 

A stability ball comes in various sizes; you won't have difficulty finding one that suits your office.

The best part is that you might even encourage the people around you to switch to a stability ball instead of a regular chair. 

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