Yoga Ball Chairs: Fitness in the Office

woman with good postureYoga ball chairs have recently become one of the most popular ergonomic additions to the workplace.  Chances are good, if you work in an office, that you’ve probably seen a coworker with one of these.

Also known as exercise or Swiss balls, these products have been adapted from exercise equipment, most commonly used for balance-based workouts. The spherical shape adds a balancing dimension when sat on.  Around 2005, people started using them in lieu of their traditional seats and the trend has caught on. People have recognized that not only do you experience great ergonomic benefits, but they’re extremely comfortable and allow you to get a workout by simply sitting.

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Benefits of Balance Ball Chairs

Improved Posture

sitting posture After only a few days of using a ball chair, you’ll start to see an improvement in your posture.  The spherical design of this product requires the sitter to remain balanced upon it in 360 degrees of rotation.  If you’re not positioned correclty, you’ll simply fall off.

In order to maintain balance, your body instinctively will come into a position that requires the least amount of effort to stay atop.  Namely, perfect vertical alignment with the vertebrae stacked upon each other.

This vertical sitting position requires very little effort from the muscles. Typical aches from long duration sitting are completely avoided. You’ll notice that you’re able to sit for longer periods of time, without feeling muscle fatigue in your lower, middle or upper back.

One of the main issues with ergonomics is simply remembering the rules.  With the distractions of the typical workday, it becomes easy to remember to sit upright. This is simply not possible with this product. You won’t have to remember, the chair will take care of that for you.

Development of the Core Muscles

develop your absWhile sat upon the inflatable sphere, the core muscle group (abdominals, obliques, and lumbar) engage to keep you upright. The effort is hardly noticeable, but there is mild engagement and as a result, the muscles start to tone over time.

The core muscle group is foundational to our posture and our health. A strong core allows you to stand tall, lift objects, and be active in the ways that you want to be. Training and developing these muscles is critical to protecting our spine and ensuring we age with a healthy back.

By simply sitting on a yoga chair, you’ll be developing your core without any effort.  You’ll be getting a work out while you’re working.  At first it might take some time getting used to.  When you slump or slouch in your chair, you’re not using any muscles at all, which is why poor posture is so damaging to your spine.  But overtime, your core muscles start to tone and get stronger, and your body will love you for it.

The products we recommend all have a removable exercise ball. This allows you to take short breaks to perform exercises such as ab crunches, from the convenience of your office. If you’re on a tight schedule, this is a great solution for helping you get a workout.

Comfortable

Many people report that a ball chair is more comfortable than a traditional one. Traditional seats, unless heavily padded, eventually start to feel hard which can be felt in the buttocks.  I’m sure you’ve had that painful feeling in your butt after a long day’s work.

The inflatable polyurethane sphere is soft and can be inflated or deflated to allow you to achieve maximum comfort level.  Even after working for a full afternoon with no breaks, you won’t notice any discomfort.

Low Cost

gaiam custom fitCompared to most ergonomic seats (typically starting at $300 or more), these products are much more affordable. Because of their simple yet effective design, manufacturing costs are low and they’re able to be offered at very reasonable prices.

Depending on the features, they can be as low as $60. Some of the higher end products feature adjustable heights and lumbar back supports, which are highly recommended, especially for new users. However, even the higher end products hardly ever exceed the $100 mark.

If you’re looking for a back pain solution without having to break your bank, this a great option that definitely does the job.

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To learn more about the different varieties of yoga ball chairs and to find out which ones are the best, be sure to visit our ball chair reviews page.  Here you’ll find our top 5 rankings based on in-house testing and customer feedback.

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