Are you getting enough exercise while you sit at your desk for long hours? Do you take frequent breaks and walks to the water cooler to stretch, yet you still feel stiff at the end of the day. Maybe you work at home, many people today are enjoying the freedom of working from their homes using the Internet and a computer, but that usually means sitting for long periods.

Whether you work in an office or the comfort of your home you can exercise at work while at your desk when you use a stability ball as a chair. Sounds silly, right?

This is exactly what most of us think until we try it. After having a spinal discetomy my therapist recommended the stability ball to help regain mobility and to strengthen severely weakened muscles, initially, this seemed ridiculous. However, after learning how to use a Swiss ball to stretch, exercise and as a chair its benefits became obvious. The stability ball as a chair is perfect, this is my opinion based on my experience and research I've done. 

If you suffer with back pain or with other health issues seek the advice of your doctor or health professional before getting started.

Choosing a Stability Ball

The Swiss Ball has become very popular as an exercise tool and a chair. Stability balls come in different sizes, styles and colors. They are light-weight, you can be deflate and inflate the ball in minutes. These fitness ball-chairs are portable, and budget-friendly.Silhouette of Woman Sitting on Stability Ball at DeskCredit: Ms Marie

To use a stability ball as a desk chair while working, first you need to decide which type is right for you. The first thing to consider is size, especially if you are going to use a fitness ball that does not have a base. When sitting on a stability ball make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor, there are many Swiss ball size charts to help you choose the right size ball for your height and weight.

Due to the increased use of stability balls as office chairs there are several types to choose from, you can select a ball without and base; or add a base designed for Swiss balls. Some fitness balls have rubber feet on the ball to aid with balancing. The full base balls resemble a traditional chair because they have a back rest or back support and armrest. Which ever type you select the ball can be easily removed from the base, this is great for other exercises.

Learn to Balance Sitting on a Stability Ball Without a Base

Sitting on an unstable object requires using your body to balance. Just sitting and balancing engages many muscles. If you have not used a ball as a chair get comfortable sitting and balancing. A good way to start is to place the ball on a carpet against a wall and slowly lower yourself into a sitting position while using your hands to keep the ball steady; or have someone help you.

Remove your hands and use your legs to balance. When you feel comfortable sitting and balancing try moving the ball away from the wall to practice lowering yourself onto the ball, and rising to a standing position safely.

5 Ways to Exercise at Your Desk

You will be working muscles while you sit at your desk when using any type of fitness ball chair. An added benefit, sitting on a Swiss ball eliminates pressure on the lower back and tailbone. Also, using  ball as a chair causes you to balance yourself naturally and sit in a way which helps keep the spine aligned.

1.  Sway your hips from side to side while raising alternating shoulders.

2.  Do some calf raises, as you sit and balance raise your heels off the floor, hold and relax; you can do several reps through-out the day.

3.  Stretch your arms out to the side, bend at the elbows with palms facing forward (the stick-up pose) and then alternate arms while reaching for the sky; if you are on a ball without a base separating your feet provides better balance.

4.  You can add stability ball bands and work your upper body while sitting at your desk.

5.  If you are using a base, take the ball out of its base during breaks or lunch for quick easy workouts.

There are many great guides available to show you safe ways to exercise at work with a stability ball chair. Whether you work at home or in an office, sitting long hours at a desk in front of a computer can leave you feeling tired, achy and inactive. The Stability ball chair is a convenient, easy and effective way to exercise at work while sitting at your desk.