Thursday, August 26, 2010

Office Chair or Bouncy Ball?


I'm seriously considering trading in my home office chair (and maybe my chair at school?) to sit on an exercise ball instead. What do you think?

I definitely need to do something because our home office desk chair is giving me lower-back pain. I've read that exercise balls can be good for forcing you to sit with good posture. I do worry, however, that it might be too much ab exercise for my pregnant self. I'll have to ask my midwife about it. It's also not clear to me which size would allow me to reach my keyboard comfortably. I've read some reviews with conflicting opinions. Some say 65cm is right for my 5'7" height, while other reviews seem to suggest I should go with the 75cm.

I read this interesting article about the benefits of using an exercise ball as a chair. I wonder if I would get tired of sitting in the same position all day (with a chair, I often cross my legs up on the chair or I put my feet on the ground or I cross one leg over the other).

I'd appreciate any insight you have! I might just invest in a more supportive office chair instead...



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17 comments:

Kim said...

I'm interested in hearing what others have to say about this because I've been debating this for a few months now. I recently bought a new ball for home, but I'm not sure what size is best for my office. I also am looking into getting a stand up desk for part of my space, and having the ball/sit down desk still available for when I need to switch it up.

Anonymous said...

I sat on an exercise ball once during my 3rd trimester (it belonged to a friend) and wished I'd bought my own months ago! As my pregnancy progressed, so did my joint pain (lower back, hips, feet, etc.) & the exercise ball somehow eased that pain more than anything else I'd sat on before. It says a lot, I think, that I was given an exercise ball to sit on while I was in labor, too!! Basically, I think you'll love the ball. And if you find yourself missing putting your feet up, perhaps you can have both types of seats availalbe and use whatever feels most comfortable at the time. If you can't have two chairs (not enough space), another idea is having a "trial period" for the exercise ball, or committing to use it during your pregnancy... and bringing back the traditional chair later. Just some ideas. But bottom line, I recommend the ball especially during your 3rd trimester!!

~J

Anonymous said...

I sit on a 75cm balance ball at work and I'm a little less than 5'8". Unless you have a shorter desk, I would go with 75cm. I think 65cm would be right if you were getting it as an exercise ball not just for sitting.

Anonymous said...

exercise ball hands down- from the 3rd trimester it will be the most comfortable seat you can find. And they are very good for getting baby into right birthing position.

Paige said...

I think it depends on how much time you spend at your desk. My co-worker started sitting on a ball at work, but after a few hours, she got tired of sitting up straight and slumped down with worse posture than she had with a chair.

Anonymous said...

my aunt has an AMAZING office chair/bouncy ball combo. they're somewhat more comfortable, and there's less worry about falling off/not being able to reach the keyboard, plus it has wheels to spin around if needed.

check them out: http://www.gaiam.com/category/group/landing/balance-ball-chair.do

Rosalie said...

I used one all the time while pregnant as I worked from home. They sell them as birth balls. They're great in the third trimester to get baby in the best possible position and also great in early labour.

Megan said...

I have the Gaiam ball/chair combo mentioned above. I got it as a requested Christmas gift and I've been sitting on it exclusively since January. I spend about 1/2 of my workday walking around and the other 1/2 at my desk. I love the ball! I find that it is almost impossible to slouch while using it--which is the main reason I wanted it. I usually have horrible posture. I don't find that it really works my abs, just makes me aware of how I am sitting. I can still cross my legs while sitting in it too. Love!

Jessica said...

My chiropractor has one of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VK7CEG/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000CQG1ZA&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0GKRWPAFQMDSSQACV54P and highly recommends it.

Anonymous said...

I've been using the exercise ball as a desk chair (and for exercise) at home for over 3 years. I have perfected the slouch and incredibly poor posture while on the ball, which is not good. The ball does not guarantee improved posture while seated. I don't find the ball requires intense use of the ab muscles or at least I don't feel it--unless I'm really working out on the ball. I like the ball as a chair and considered it for work, though I didn't think my bosses would allow it. I'm also 5'7" and have a 65 cm ball. I think the 75 cm ball would be too big for me to comfortably sit (charts I've seen say the 75cm ball is for people over 6').

lindel said...

OMG - you HAVE to get one of these. Not as a 'chair' though. They are great during labour, but even better after the baby has been born. Ours totally saved our sanity with our baby boy. We cuddled our baby while bouncing so so so often (daily!) and he would easily fall asleep, and now he is 1yr and extremely heavy, it still saves us from time to time. I used to bounce him in the months after his birth and work on my pelvic floor exercises and my core muscles at the same time.

I am sure a friend might be able to lend or give you one.

bklyn76 said...

not sure as an office chair, but our physio ball saved my life during the first six months of my babe's life! the constant bouncing on the ball is what kept him calm and content. i even named my blog after it: perpetualbounce.blogspot.com !

Anonymous said...

a GREAT idea! The more time spent on the exercise/birthing ball, the better!

Anonymous said...

A ball is a great idea for all the reasons mentioned above. It also can create more space in your pelvis for your baby to get into the optimum position for birth when sitting in a postion where your knees are lower than your hips- most couches, chairs and car seats will make your knees higher than your hips with your pelvis tilting up and back. A birth ball usually keeps the positioning just about right. It was the only thing I was comfortable sitting on in the last month of my third pregnancy. Check out www.spinningbabies.com for more info on optimal fetal positioning

Beehive said...

I love mine and use it all the time, but I think you should keep your desk chair for a back-up. I find that my abs/back muscles get a little sore after a full day on the ball, so I alternate between the two.

Anonymous said...

I started using an exercise ball as my work chair 2 years ago in my office and love it. No, it does not guarantee good posture - I still slouch all the time. I find that it makes sitting at a desk for 90% of my day a little more entertaining. I'll bounce around a little bit here and there or do a few crunches or when I'm really bored I kneel on it and try to balance while typing (not recommended for pregnant women).

Laurel said...

I sit on a ball at work too! I love it. Just a tip.. buy bigger than you think so you can comfortably type and keep the ball blown up. other wise you start to slouch.

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