These are for Exercising, not Working.

As we are in the season of New Year’s resolutions I am getting more and more people asking me if there are ergonomic benefits to using the exercise ball they got for Christmas as an office chair.  I think it is great that people are trying to multi-task their exercise routine into their office jobs, but this is not the way to do it.

Exercise balls are just that – exercise. Users need to activate their core muscles to maintain stability and good posture.  The spine should always have an “S” shape with an inward curve to the low back (lumbar), not a “C” shape hunched back which places strain on the tissues of the spine.  If we were working at our desks on an exercise ball, it is very difficult to consciously maintain good back posture and complete our work tasks. Since exercise balls do not have a backrest, users typically end up hunching forward with a rounded upper back as we get sucked into the work on our desks.

Instead of using an exercise ball at work, try working from a standing height (if your desk is able to be raised high enough), walk around your office while on speaker phone, or schedule short micro breaks throughout the day to get you up out of your chair at least once per hour.  For some useful Office Ergo Tips, check out our Free Stuff section.

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