Why You Should Switch to an Exercise Ball Chair Now
Exercise balls are commonplace now in most gyms. They're finding their place in workplaces too. If you haven't considered trying one, they are inexpensive and here's a few good reasons to do so.
1. A more toned core
Sitting on an exercise ball forces you to engage the muscles of your abdomen, legs and hips in order to keep yourself balanced. Even though this engagement is subtle, it's enough to add a little more strength and endurance to your midsection. Your "core" provides much of the stability you need through virtually any movement, so with this boost, you’ll have a stronger base for doing other exercises using good form and reducing your injury risk.
2. Better posture
An exercise ball has no arm rests to lean on. Subsequently, people find that they are more aware of their posture when sitting on one. As you straighten up and sit tall because of this increased awareness, your erector spinae muscles, the ones keeping you from slouching, can strengthen over time. Soon, you’ll stand with better form when you're off the ball.
3. Less same-position fatigue and pain
Sitting on an exercise ball requires you to get up and move your body more often. For instance, if you need a file from the cabinet to your left, you can't just swivel to get it and let your chair do most of the work. This increased movement can reduce tiredness, pain, or repetitive stress injuries that can result from constantly working in the same position for hours at a time. As a bonus, more movement can help you burn a few extra calories each day, but probably not enough to offset a handful of cookies at the end of your shift.
4. Availability of a fitness tool on breaks
Few businesses have dedicated fitness centers workers can use on their breaks. When you have an exercise ball, you easily can fit in a quick set of squats, ball pushups, modified bridges or do other activities such as reclining backward to stretch your chest. These "mini workouts" are not going to cause you drop a hundred pounds, but they are beneficial in your quest to achieve better fitness.
5. Better mood and morale
You are not confined while on a ball the way you are in a chair. You can sway to your favorite songs coming through your headphones or you can bounce away the stress you feel right before a big presentation. Your entire attitude can shift just because you feel less physically uptight, and that feeling can be contagious, developing a positive atmosphere throughout your team.
The general rule now is to use an exercise ball 20 to 30 minutes at a time — longer periods can cause unnecessary fatigue that would compromise your posture and balance. Use it as a complement to, not a replacement for, your current chair. Experts are continuing to study just how beneficial exercise balls can be at work. Initial evidence shows that, for many people, they can have both physical and psychological benefits.