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How to Use a Stability Ball As a Chair

Stability balls offer a way to challenge muscles in the gym and may help you strengthen your body outside the gym, too. Some offices and organizations allow employees to replace traditional desk chairs with balance balls to minimize discomfort and improve posture. According to the Indiana University School of Health, using a stability ball as a chair helps strengthen the core, as well as arm and leg muscles. While experts disagree on the long-term use of stability ball chairs, you may find they offer a comfortable alternative to your regular chair.

  1. Buy a balance ball that fits your body. Grand Valley University recommends a 45cm ball for users under 5 feet 5 inches or a 55cm ball for those ranging from 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet tall. Use a 65cm ball if you're over 6 feet tall.

  2. Place your ball below your desk and sit down so you're centered over the ball. Adjust your position as needed until your feet knees and hips both form 90-degree angles. Your hips should stay slightly higher than your pelvis to maintain posture.

  3. Perform your normal workday routine. Pay attention to your posture, and use your core muscles to keep your back straight.

  4. Stay on the ball only as long as you're comfortable, then switch back to your regular office chair. Try using the ball for 20- to 30-minute intervals at first and work your way up to longer periods.

  5. Add a stability base to your ball to keep the ball steady, if desired. These simple racks hold the ball in place to keep you stable. For a more ergonomic alternative, place your ball in a balance ball chair, which combines a back and arm rests with a standard balance ball.

    Tip

    Keep your ball fully inflated. According to the Des Moines Register, softer balls reduce stability and increase your risk of injury.

    Use your balance ball to perform simple crunches and other exercises throughout the day to maintain a high level of energy.

    Ask your co-workers to chip in for a balance ball, then share the ball within the office.

    Warning

    The Cornell University Ergonomics Web warns that stability balls may not offer the same ergonomic benefits as a quality chair. Use the ball for short periods, then switch to an ergonomically designed chair.

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Things Needed

  • Stability ball
  • base ring or balance ball chair

About the Author

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.

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