At my desk I choose not to sit in a normal computer chair. Instead, I sit on a exercise ball. This has many different benefits and advantages that most people would never even think of. It provides a decent amount of extra cross training for your abs and also helps your posture. This is very important for people who do a lot of walking but not much other types of exercise.
Benefits of An Exercise Ball Chair
The problem with the usual desk chairs is that, even when they are developed to provide support and be ergonomic, we slouch in them and have poor posture. When you are sitting on an exercise ball chair you are constantly active. This is because your body has to make many small adjustments with muscles all of your body all the time.
As you might guess this gives you a lot of help when you are trying to develop better posture and balance. And it does all of this when you are just sitting!
Is An Exercise Ball Chair Ergonomic?
Many people have point out that the people who make ergonomic desk chairs often caution that you stay away from using an exercise ball. If you think about it, a average ergonomic desk chair will cost you several hundred dollars. I don't blame them for trying to get you to stay away from a $15 exercise ball, or slightly more expensive, exercise ball chair!
Obviously, if you have serious back or skeletal then you should probably avoid sitting on a ball like this for hours. People who have problems like that often need special chairs to make sure that they don't do any further harm to their bodies. However, if you are just looking to improve your posture and balance and you are a healthy person then its a great alternative. If you are interested in using a exercise ball as a chair and you do have some kind of musculo skeletal disorder then I would suggest you have a serious talk with a medical professional.
If you want the ball you buy to be a good fit for you then you need to get a ball that is the correct size. You might need to try a few out before you buy one. One of the most important things is that your thighs slope downwards slightly. You shouldn't be sitting with your thighs and knees at a 90 degree angle. The ball should also not be so tall that you need your hands to help you balance.
How To Use a Exercise Ball Chair
This part really isn't that hard. All you have to do is sit in it. However you need to be careful when you are starting out so that you don't wear yourself out and not get any work done. For this reason I would suggest you build up to using it all day rather than just switching one day. If you feel that you can handle doing that, then by all means go ahead. However, many people will have trouble just going strait to sitting on it for 8 hours a day. What you should consider doing instead if build up to it. Start with only a half hour, maybe even less, and every day build up as your tolerance goes up.