How To Sit On An Exercise Ball Properly
We know that you might be thinking how hard can it be to sit on a ball instead of a chair? Well, sitting isnt difficult, but sitting properly so that you wont injure yourself takes a little more work.;
First and foremost, sit up straight on your exercise ball and ensure that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and that your thighs are not pointing up or down. This correct leg positioning will give you a stable base so that you dont find yourself rolling away from the desk.;
Sitting with a sufficient amount of space between your calves will further help strengthen your core and therefore will help your posture.;
Are you using a computer, or a pen and paper while you work? If a laptop, your laptop needs to be open at a 90-degree angle. This will keep your neck positioned correctly and in alignment with your spine.
If youre not using a computer, your elbows should be bent to allow your whole forearm to rest on top of the desk. This also promotes the best posture.;
Active sitting isnt supposed to be easy, otherwise you wouldnt be burning four calories a minute. Your body should be bracing itself to prevent you from falling off of the ball. This keeps your muscles engaged and getting stronger.;
Now, as you can probably tell with this whole exercise, its a lot of pressure on your muscles. You dont hold your dumbbells above your head all-day to strengthen your arms, do you? This is because the act of lifting them up and down helps the muscles to rest in between sets.;
What Size Exercise Ball Is Best For Sitting At Desk
Exercise balls are great tools to use while working out, as they help you strengthen your core muscles as well as your balancing ability.
;In fact, they can actually condition your abdominal, back, and oblique muscles.;
These three muscle groups help your spine to remain strong and aligned properly. This will undoubtedly improve your posture, which is why exercise balls have actually become very popular replacements to a traditional desk chair.;
Using an exercise ball as your office chair is called active sitting, as youre keeping your muscles engaged while not moving.
This helps to strengthen them while youre stationary. Who doesnt want to get a flatter stomach while working?;
Plus, theyre great fun for quick five-minute breaks during your work hours. Using an exercise ball as a desk chair incorporates work and play seamlessly.
That being said, using a ball thats the wrong size may cause you more harm than good, which is why its so important to do your research before buying one.;
Below well be looking at the different sizes of exercise balls and which you should use for sitting at a desk. Well also talk about inflating it and how you should sit on it to work all those muscles properly.;
What Is Yoga Ball And What Is It Used For
Yoga balls used to strengthen our body and form, are large elastic balls used to strengthen our core muscles, especially in the pelvis, abdominals, and back. According to the American Exercise Council, the yoga ball can be used at home and in physiotherapy sessions outside of gyms. The yoga balls we saw in the gyms started their journey as a Swiss ball resistant to puncture by an Italian manufacturer. Over time, it has received various names such as exercise ball, core ball, balance ball, pilates ball, fitness ball, yoga ball, gym ball, therapy ball, sports ball, medicine ball. If you say which of these names is true, they are all true. Since its manufacture, yoga balls have often been used for the following purposes:
- for rehabilitation purposes,
- to increase muscle mass
- to improve the cardiovascular system,
- to strengthen the abdominal, back and waist muscles.
- Nowadays, they are mostly used as fitness equipment in fitness, yoga, and pilates.
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Sitting On An Exercise Ball: The Risks
Opponents of using exercise balls to sit on at work argue that what is desirable in a chair is not the same as what is desirable in a piece of exercise equipment. A chair, they say, should take pressure off of the low back and provide support for the arms, which can alleviate discomfort and lessen fatigue. The constant muscle activation required when sitting on a ball for prolonged periods can increase fatigue and make back pain worse.
If You Suffer From Back Pain An Ergonomic Ball Chair Can Help
When appropriately used, the best ball chair will help you create healthy habits, improve your posture, and relieve back pain. If you are already struggling to sit up straight, a backless ball chair might not be for you; choosing a more ergonomic option can bring on more benefits quickly.
A backless ball can occasionally lead to hunching if you allow your tailbone to curve too far underneath you, forcing your shoulders forward and exaggerating a curved spine. An ergonomic ball chair will include a backrest and a flexible base. This will allow you to keep your feet flat on the floor while providing more structure and support for your lower back.
Remember, you dont want to sit on a yoga ball all day long, so while youre at it, make sure your other desk furniture is ergonomic too. Its also a good idea to check your desk setup; your screen should be at eye level, your keyboard within reach, and your mouse directly next to it. Consider investing in a headset if you take lots of calls, eliminating tension caused by holding your phone between the neck and shoulders.
Best ergonomic ball chair: PharMeDoc Balance Ball Chair
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What Is A Yoga Ball Chair
A yoga ball chair comprises;a yoga ball that sits inside a frame.; Many have casters, enabling the chair to be relocated easily.; Some have a height adjustable back to accommodate users of different heights.
The ball, or seat, is most often made of burst-resistant vinyl that is filled with air.;;Because the ball is curved and it is resting on a flat surface, it is slightly unstable.; To stabilize it, muscles;in the core and thighs that arent usually;engaged when we are sedentary,;come into play.;;This muscle engagement gives us a;passive workout, while seated.
The ball can be removed from the frame to use for exercise.
High Quality Lower Cost
This balance ball from Trideer is perfect for stretching, stability, and strength training. Plus, it comes with an inflatable base for easy conversion into a great ball chair. It comes in two sizes: 26 and 30 inches and two colors: black and silver. Plus, its super durable, slip-resistant, and rated for up to 2,000 pounds.
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Tips For Sitting Safely
If you want to experiment with a yoga ball chair, make sure to follow these guidelines:
If you want to try using your yoga ball as a desk chair for an hour or two at a time, be sure to set up your workstation so you can maintain proper sitting posture. This might mean investing in a desk of a different height, an external keyboard and mouse, or other new equipment.
For good desk posture, Reid says all of the following should be true:
- Your chin should be parallel to the floor when youre looking straight at your screen. Your neck shouldnt be bent up or down.
- Your elbows should be just below your keyboard, and your shoulders should be soft.
- Your knees should bend at a 90-degree angle.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor.
Update: Gaiam Gives Kids The Gift Of Bounce
After reading this article ;and reviewing more research recommending balance balls as a strategy to help students focus in school, second-grade teacher Lana Ray in Connelly Springs, N.C., convinced her school’s principal to let her purchase six ball chairs for her classroom.
Many of Ray’s students have ADD;or ADHD; shortly after the chairs arrived, she started noticing marked behavioral improvement from students on the days they got to sit on the ball chairs . One student even stuttered less when he sat on the ball. Ray’s local paper;covered the story, raising awareness among other educators and parents.
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Best Ball Chair On A Budget: What You Can Get For Under $45
While some ball chairs can be a bit expensive, there are definitely options for those on a budget. You might not be able to find something that doesnt evoke exercise or the gym, but you will be able to find the best ball chair thats supportive and multi-purpose to help fight off pain and strain without breaking the bank.
Best budget ball chair: Trideer Ball Chair
The Idea Behind Using An Exercise Ball Instead Of An Office Chair
The idea of sitting on an exercise ball instead of a traditional office chair is that the instability of an exercise ball requires the user to increase trunk muscle activation and thus increase core strength, improve posture and decrease discomfort.
Another benefit ball chair supporters claim is increased calorie burn. When the core is engaged, they say, the user burns more calories than they would sitting in a traditional office chair.
So, are these benefits the real deal? Is it smart to replace your office chair with an exercise ball?
Lets take a look at the scientific evidence.
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Using A Yoga Ball To Start Labor
Studies show that if mothers begin using a yoga ball for inducing labor right around the beginning of the last trimester, through the first stage of labor, it can progress much more quickly. It has been found that gravity works naturally to help start labor, and keep it progressing. Women who lie flat have a much higher incidence rate for cesarean delivery.;
In order to get the most benefit from a yoga ball, begin these exercises around week 32 of pregnancy:
What Size Yoga Ball Is Right For My Height In Pregnancy
Good posture is key to unlocking the best benefits. Be sure you are choosing a;yoga ball that can safely hold your pregnancy weight; the best balls for pregnancy are marked to hold;500kg.
The right size along with good quality materials both ensure that your hips and feet are completely stable at all times, your knees should be ideally about 4 inches lower than your hips in a seated position on the ball, this ensures that you and your baby are completely safe and secure when using the ball.
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Find The Right Size Stability Ball For You
You want to be sure that you select a stability ball that fits your height. Choosing a ball that’s too big or too small can make the exercises either too difficult or too easy .
Generally, every brand of stability ball will have height and ball size suggestions on their website or directly on the equipment packaging. Or, consider these height/size suggestions from the University of Arkansas.
- If you’re between 4’8″ and 5’5″, your exercise ball should be 18 inches in diameter.
- If you’re between 5’6″ and 6’0″, your exercise ball should be 22 inches in diameter.
- If you’re between 6’1″ and 6’5″, your exercise ball should be 26 inches in diameter.
- If you’re over 6’5″, your exercise ball should be 30 inches in diameter.
Psychological Benefits Of Sitting On The Yoga Ball
When sitting in the chair, as time goes by, there may be low motivation, focus shifts and distractions. When sitting on the yoga ball, there is no disturbance or focusing problem because it is not possible to sit on the yoga ball very comfortably. It is known that when the person sits on the yoga ball, the brain works faster, the endorphin is secreted and there is a feeling of relaxation along with the breathing pattern.
Every sport done reduces stress and has positive energy with secreted hormones. Practicing yoga and even just sitting on the yoga ball during the day has an impact on human psychology, providing the atmosphere necessary for deep breathing and calming. In a study, a teacher made his students sit on a yoga ball instead of a desk, and after this change, it was observed that the exam success of the students increased considerably. In other words, it was seen that the yoga ball had an impact on the success of the students as well as the white-collar working at the workplace.
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More Challenging: Ball Sit
Sit-ups on the ground are already good for building your core, but the added challenge of doing them on an exercise ball can make them even more impactful.
Remember, this exercise and the next one are best done initially under the supervision of a physical therapist or certified athletic trainer.
Should I Sit On An Exercise Ball At Work
My lower back can can get stiff and sore between workouts. Will sitting on an exercise ball while at work help me to strengthen it?
Despite the popularity of balls-as-chairs in the workplace, the answer to this question is a cautious maybe.
If you work at, let’s say, an active lifestyle magazine in Santa Fe, New Mexico, youre likely accustomed to colleagues perched gingerly atop oversize bouncy balls, like prospective circus performers. Not without reason. Studies have shown that sitting on an exercise ball, as opposed to a regular desk chair, helps to burn an additional 30 calories per eight-hour workday. But is it good for your back?
In the gym, exercise balls can provide great stability training, challenging your muscles to keep you balanced as you run through the standard sets of crunches and shoulder presses. As Dr. Edward Laskowski, co-director of Mayo Cinic’s sports medicine center points out, Even if youre strong, you may not be very stable.; It’s important for athletes to train stabilizer muscles to prevent joint injury as they tackle heavier weights or longer runs.
Especially when youre recovering from a lower back injury, working your stabilizers is important. That said, you dont want to overdo it. As always, Laskowski says, If its causing you pain, making you stabilize too much, then you should ease off.
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Sitting On A Gym Ball At Work The Facts
Recently the trend for swapping out your office chair for a gym ball has swept through the UK with many asking the question is a gym ball better for my back than a conventional chair?. This is based on the theory that the abdominal and back muscles are constantly engaged and active in order to maintain proper posture and balance on the ball.;Our ergonomics expert Jo Blood sheds some light on the pros and cons of using a gym ball at work.
Gym balls are fantastic exercise tools, frequently used in physical therapy and exercise classes, they are a good way in building core strength as the body has to respond to the instability of the ball and balance. However, using a gym ball in an office environment may not be as beneficial as you had hoped.
Most people do not have the core strength to sit on the ball properly, which automatically makes the user tuck their feet under the ball to stop instability, and therefore defeating the purpose of swapping out your office chair. With average office hours exceeding 8 hours, it is impossible to keep your core muscles engaged for that period throughout the entire day.
For all you employers out there it is also worth noting also that gym balls do not meet HSE regulations for use as an office chair as they dont have a five-star base, height adjustment or an adjustable back. If one of your employees falls off a gym ball or it bursts, you may be liable as you have allowed the usage of the equipment on company property.
Keep Your Brain Active
There is overwhelming evidence that physical activity increases brain function and academic performance. Thats why if you cant find a solution to a problem, it helps to walk around the office or go for a quick run.
Often the solution comes to you after physical activity. Using a balance ball chair brings physical activity to your workstation.
Just bouncing up and down while you work can wake up your brain and if that doesnt work, try some swiss ball exercises, as long as your office environment permits it. It might seem strange today but, who knows, in twenty years, entire offices could be outfitted with Gaiam Balance Ball Chairs.
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Great Ways To Tone Your Butt And Thighs On The Ball
Its arguably a womans one body zone thats the biggest pain in the butt to keep looking fit and firm. But you can really;tone up your hips, thighs and butt with just a few simple exercises even if you have only 5 or 10 minutes. Certified stability ball fitness trainer Sue Hollingshead shows you how with the three-move Balance Ball exercise ball workout below.
Doing lower-body exercises on a;Balance Ball or;stability ball can whip this trouble zone into shape faster. Thats because the ball offers a combination of support and instability, says certified fitness instructor Suzanne Deason.
The support of the ball beneath you allows you to work harder without feeling overworked or strained, she explains. Yet you also have to stabilize yourself on the ball and that requires smaller core muscles not involved in traditional forms of exercise. Each movement demands a little more from your muscles, resulting in a very complete and effective workout.
Hollingshead recommends these moves because they really target the glutes, hamstrings and adductors . Theyre very effective at toning and strengthening these muscles that are key to a fit,;shapely lower body.