Yoga balls in the office?
I've seen a few people swapping out their standard office chairs in favor of yoga/exercise balls. I've been told that they are great for developing core strength and can help reduce back pain. As someone who suffers from mild to moderate lower back pain, I'm considering doing the same. Has anyone else tried this? I'd love to hear your experiences and perhaps find out what the benefits and/or disadvantages are?
You may want to see someone about the back pain before ditching the chair. The yoga ball can be effective with stability and strength but a lot of people still sit in a slouched position while on it. You really have to pay attention to how you are sitting and depending on your work space a ball may not be practical. Hope that helped.
If you can, first get an ergonomic evaluation (the risk management department at my workplace paid for it). That made a tremendous difference for me, I just had no idea that my chair and monitor were so far out of whack from what the should have been (in fact, when they adjusted me, I thought they were crazy - the monitor was now way too close - but they were right, this works much better for me). Second, it's important to note that the yoga ball chairs (and I do love mine) are NOT meant to be sat on for an entire work day - more like 4 hours. So if you get one, I would recommend either switching every couple of hours, or switch chairs after lunch.
Exercise ball sitting does not help. An exercise ball chair (ball sat in a frame on rollers) I owned made my lower back problems WORSE and I am in shape and athletic, with good core muscles. I have herniated disc at L4-5, sciatica severely (hurt myself exercising) I've had epidurals, physical therapy, chiropractor, acupunction, tried everything for years; will have surgery this spring. BUT, sitting and exercsing on the ball did not help and hurt me more, and I purchased it because was said it was the best to sit on for my problem, but it was not. What I sit on now is called a "bungee office chair". It has elatisized bands, make sure you get one with a low back. BEST thing I have sat on with my chronic pain. Good luck.
I have been sitting on a yoga ball instead of a chair for two years now. Both during my 8 hour work day and at home on the computer. I would never go back to a chair! I have no back injuries (knock wood) and went to the ball because my new job two years ago put me at a desk the majorty of the time. I was feeling the chair in my back muscles (note my prevous job was safety and ergonomics). When switching to the ball it is important to not just start for 8 hours. I worked up to 8 hours over about a month alternating between the chair and ball. I can tell a huge difference. No back pain, stronger back, better balance, and the micro adjustments you make during the day is great for circulation. When I initally ordered I got a ball with a "base" to help keep it from rolling. I quickly realized that that was counter productive (see the micro adjustment comment above) and ditched the base. Now just the ball on the floor.
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