T Nation

Sitting Posture and Bouncy Balls

I am considering getting one of those stability balls for my office at work. I sit in a damn chair all day and am wondering if using one of these balls as a chair would benefit my lower back.

I tend to kind of slouch after a few hours in the chair. I keep trying to correct myself all the time but I thought the ball would make me keep erect most of the time… okay fire the cracks about me keeping erect all day…

Are these balls good at correcting posture?

-Dave

Yes, they make excellent chairs. In fact, I used one at my previous job for 4 years. I was known as “the guy that sits on the big ball.” When you first use it, your back and abs may be sore, but once you get used to it, you’ll be fine.

It is great for your lower back and abs. Just be sure to get the correct size ball (usually one size up from the one you’d use for exercising). When I changed jobs, I brought my ball to my new job, but I had to stop using it because the ball was too high compared to my desk/computer, and it actually created more problems. However, I have them at home and use one as my computer chair.

Hi Dave,
I had similar questions on this issue. A colleague pointed me to this site.
http://www.workcover.act.gov.au/pdfs/HA25.pdf

However, I was not convinced and submitted this document to the Chek Insititute for their rationale.

This was their is their reply:
Thanks for checking up on the concept. I’ll answer the points in the

articles and attempt to keep it brief.

  1. Leads to fatique.

Yes… it’ll lead to fatigue. Just as walking up a flight of stairs or
around a city block fatigues a significantly deconditioned person. But
should we tell that person not to walk, rather to take the elevator or a
taxi? I think we both know the answer. We can use common sense when
applying swiss balls as seats in the workplace… if an individual is at
a
low level of conditioning it may warrant short exposures to the ball,
interspersed during the day. Add time or number of exposures as the
muscles adapt to the stimulus. Like a runner adding mileage or a weight
lifter adding load.

  1. Leads to risk of falling when moving, sitting down, standing up.

There is clearly an increased risk of squashing one’s tush, as with any
unstable object. For some of us, sitting on a ball will offer more of a
threat of falling than others. Just like time on the balance beam is a
different scenario for Mary Lou Rhetton than for most of us. If this is
a
concern, solutions may include the use of a duradisk, ball pedestal, or
one of the new ball chair frames. Honestly, I find it is a quick
learning
curve, trains an increased awareness, makes it easier to move around at
a
desk, and keeps me more alert for the job at hand.

  1. Still allows slumping.

It seems we could use this point against the standard chair with a back
support as easily as against the ball. Don’t you agree? But, yes, one
can slump on the ball, especially when you become more comfortable with
it. But you are certainly more aware of slumping when you do. You must
become aware of any behavior as a prerequisite to changing it. The ball
alone doesn’t force anyone to sit rod straight, but rather prompts us to
keep our torso over its center of gravity, which improves posture.

  1. Draws concentration away from the job.

We are three-part beings, mind, body, spirit. Stimulating one often
affects the other two parts. Movement stimulates the body, clearly.
Wake
up the body, and you turn up the amps in the mind. As long as the ball
is
not an enormously challenging task requiring high concentration to stay
on
the thing (say for the severely deconditioned, motor-impaired person
mentioned above), the ball should promote better productivity through
engaging the whole person, the whole brain. And if a person is that
motor-impaired, it is a good thing they are on the ball, eh?

Hope this helps your decision, I, for my part like the ball as a chair.

Moe

Dave,

If you are looking to correct your posture, you will require more than just sitting on a swissball. Sitting on a swissball will not increase flexibility (in pectorals/lats or Hip flexors) or strengthen weak muscles(rhomboids).

These will require corrective exercise prescription. For this check out Neaderthal No More article.

moe

Dave,
last post I promise.

As for keeping erect, hopefully those little asian pics will help.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=320717

Sorry, had to :slight_smile:

Moe

sitting on a ball sounds fun. I think I am going to get one instead of a computer chair!

-Get Lifted

Thanks fellas,

In between bouncing on my new ball at the office and flipping back and forth to those asian pics I never got much accomplished today.

-Dave