FIT TIP: Replace Your Chair with a Stability Ball
The stability ball originated in the rehabilitation and physical therapy environment of the 1960s, but these days, you’d be hard pressed to enter a workout facility and not see it used as exercise equipment. Now the big rubber ball is bouncing into the workplace.
As the dangers of prolonged sitting are becoming clearer, more and more people are choosing to swap their seat for a stability ball. You don’t have to permanently say sayonara to your desk chair, but even keeping a stability ball in the corner of your office to use for half the day is better for your body!
Stability Ball Benefits
- Stronger Core: By sitting on the ball, you are forced to use the muscles in the middle of your body: the abdominals, hips, chest and spine. Now, you’re not going to leave the office at quitting time with a six-pack, but the ball will engage and strengthen your core.
- Better Balance: The first time you sit on the ball, you might feel a little wobbly. You’ll definitely become more aware of firing your core muscles to stay steady. But with time and practice, your body will unconsciously balance itself out.
- Posture: With no armrests or chair back to slouch into, you’re naturally going to keep your back straighter and taller. Of course, you can always slouch forward but a stability ball is like a little bird constantly chirping into your ear to “sit up straight.” Also, your posture will naturally benefit from the stronger core muscles gained from the ball.
Pick the Best Ball For You
In a hunt for the ideal stability ball, look for an anti-burst ball which will deflate slowly and safely if you happen to roll over a pin or pen in your office. A cheap ball will pop and potentially cause injury. And remember, the one-size-fits-all approach is not the best strategy. When choosing a ball, select it based on your height:
45cm = under 5 ft tall
55cm = 5’ to 5’7”
65cm = 5’8” to 6’3”
75cm = over 6’3” tall
From rehab to gym and now to the office, the stability ball is a great tool for all three environments. Are you ready to take a seat?