I’ve gone the ball route and it hurt my back worse than a regular chair. I dropped $700 on a real chair and the Magnificient Mobility DVD and my back is the best it’s ever been.
You also might want to try standing up every hour and doing about 5 minutes of stretching.
That’s an interesting result… do you have an idea as to why your back felt worse?
Just personal preference I suppose. In my case I found that the ball did indeed make your back muscles fire all day long. However…
…if you do a workout that consists of 3 sets of 8 reps of stiff legged deadlifts you are under a brief period of intense stress and as a result you get a training effect when your body has time to rest and recuperate. Now, reach down like you are going to do a stiff legged deadlift, put a little tension on the weight like you were going to pick it up off the floor and now hold that position for an hour at a time until you reach 8 hours of total tension. Based on what we know about lifting from this site, that 8 hours of mediocre tension isn’t going to build up any kind of strength in your back. In fact it may irritate it, which it apparently does to my back.
Like I said from my personal experience I think you are better off putting in the time to exercise and stretch your back with something like the Magnificient Mobility program. That is what works for me personally.
Thanks for sharing your experience - it’s an interesting perspective.
I’d like to say though, that from my experience ball work is intended to be for muscles with a postural role (like multifidus, for individuals who can benefit from having better function in these muscles) and proprioceptive or stabilising work rather than for strengthening muscles which have gross movement roles.
I’d like to hear from anyone with other experiences, though.