You may have heard that exercise balls can be a great replacement for more traditional office furniture. While exercise balls are excellent for stretching and aerobic exercises, there are some things you should be aware of before purchasing one of these balls as a makeshift chair. We’ll take you through some of the realities of exercise balls in the office.
They Can Disrupt Your Concentration
If you’ve already tried sitting on an exercise ball for even a few minutes, you know how difficult it can be. You have to maintain balance using your core and make tiny adjustments every so often to stay in the proper position. As you might imagine, doing this isn’t great for your concentration even if you were in a relaxed environment. While this is great for getting exercise over a short period of time, the intense concentration it takes is not beneficial for a working environment where your mind should be on your job rather than on staying upright.
Exercise Balls are Uncomfortable
While one of the claimed benefits of using an exercise ball as office furniture is increased comfort, the fact of the matter is that it’s not comfortable at all. For five minutes, your body may enjoy the challenge of balancing, but after that your back will get tired just as much as sitting on a hard stool. It’s true that the springy sensation of the ball can be more comfortable as a cushion than a standard office chair, the lack of lumbar support is exhausting to your spine. If you’re looking for ergonomic solutions that provide health benefits and comfort for your work, it’s better to find a company that sells solid office furniture that doesn’t involve unstable seating solutions as an exercise method during work.
The Balls Can Increase Spinal Shrinkage
Exercise balls aren’t just unhelpful as a chair, but there are also health risks if you sit on them for long periods of time. When you’re sitting on an exercise ball, you’re trying to engage your core to sit up straight. However, the cushions in between each vertebra of your spine aren’t doing anything. These cushions can start to lose spinal fluid over time thanks to inactivity. This causes something called spinal shrinkage and leads to greater back pain and problems over time. The better solution is to just stand up and move regularly if you are concerned about the effects of sitting for long periods of time.
They Make You Get Up
This is the one benefit of exercise balls as a long term seating solution. After all, moving around the office a little more each day can be a great way to add some exercise to your routine and provide that movement your spine needs. This is just due to the discomfort caused by the chair. While discomfort is effective at getting you to move, it also encourages poor posture and is a sign that your body is in a position that is not beneficial for it. Pain is a warning sign from your body that damage is being done, and only when you have a truly comfortable seating solution will you be able to maintain a healthy work style. It would be much more beneficial, therefore, to get comfortable and ergonomic seats and office furniture and set an alarm or reminder to stand up and move around.
Most people who work in a traditional office setting want to find quick, easy ways to be a bit more active and maintain a healthy lifestyle on the job. While an exercise ball can seem like a great option at first, there are a variety of useful, comfortable office chairs out there that can give you what you need. Save the exercise balls for aerobic workouts and your body and spine will thank you for it.