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Are Exercise Balls Good as Office Chairs?

Are exercise balls good as office chairs?

The modern workplace looks very different from what it did a decade ago. This change is significantly more apparent in technology workspaces as compared to the other fields. Among all the changes that are taking place right now, the most common change includes the use of more advanced chairs to promote the highest level of comfort.

Some are claiming that exercise balls instead of traditional office chairs. Are exercise balls good or do they have some major drawbacks, we are going to take a thorough look at all the important aspects. Let us get started without further delay.

Taking a closer look at this situation

You might find this idea highly intriguing but making such a significant change without giving a proper thought is not a good idea. Some of the points used in this favour include the fact that exercise balls can reduce fatigue and promote good posture. As they say, these balls are quite comfortable and they decrease the chances of sitting diseases.

The benefits of sitting on exercise balls come from their lack of stability. The lack of stability requires the proper attention of the sitting person. And you will never be able to do that without activating your trunk muscle. With an activated trunk muscle, you are not only in the right posture, and strengthening your core muscles but also increases the rate of calorie burn.

The things we have mentioned so far are the ones that support the exercise ball’s claim. We are here to talk about more than just the claims. Let us see what science has to say in this regard.

Taking a look at the scientific evidence about these claims

Once you start looking at the facts, you will find that science says otherwise. To your surprise, many researchers suggest that exercise balls cause more problems than benefitting people in the office. Here is a brief look at the views of researchers about all the claims that we have mentioned above.

Reduce fatigue and promote good posture

Spending time on exercise balls in the gym is very different from doing the same in the office. We don’t have our boss assigning and monitoring our work in the gym. Carrying on with any activity like exercise does not require us to do anything other than exercise. Our exercise duration is incomparably smaller than the time we spend at work in the office.

When you have to use the exercise balls as your chair in the office, you won’t be able to maintain a good posture for long enough. As a result of that, you will experience an increased level of fatigue because you need to put a lot more effort into maintaining a good posture.

You simply can’t maintain the best posture all the time while working because most of your focus will be on work. Talking of the fatigue situation, such an extra effort from your side all the time will cause more fatigue than usual.

Prolonged activation of trunk muscles

Well, the opinions of researchers are quite different on this one. Some researchers conclude that sitting on exercise balls engages the core muscles. That in turn would lead to strengthening your core muscles.

While there are others who say that sitting on an exercise ball activates the core muscles the same way as that traditional chairs. With so much debate on this topic, you should stick to 100 other ways that are proven for giving you core strength than using exercise balls in the office.

Promoting calorie burn and decreasing the risk of sitting-related diseases

Some argue that you need more energy because you have to balance yourself more often while sitting on the office chair. On the contrary, the amount of extra energy that you put in here is insignificant enough to burn extra calories.

So, this assumption turns out to be a myth in terms of effectiveness. Several people who have spent long hours sitting on the exercise balls say that it causes pain to some degree and is not comfortable as the traditional chairs.

They increase the risk of injury

This is one of the most serious disadvantages of using exercise balls as chairs in the office. The point of contact is significantly less and that is the cause of instability. As a result of that, you are more prone to falling down in case you move. On the contrary, you don’t have to think about such movements while sitting on conventional office chairs.

So, exercise balls not only make your movements difficult but also put you at risk of falling on the floor. Depending on the type of objects placed around that place, you can injure yourself severely.

Exercise ball as office chair

Exercise ball as office chair (Source)

Are exercise balls good or it is just a myth?

The short answer to this question is No, they are not good to be used as office chairs. Exercise balls are something that you should leave for exercise alone (it’s important to stay healthy when working from home, after all). Having them in your office and using them instead of desk chairs is not a good idea.

It is only going to cause a certain level of discomfort for the person sitting on them. While in the office, it is our prime concern to make employees comfortable so that they can remain productive throughout the day.

Final thoughts

In case you are in doubt over are exercise balls good, the clear answer is Yes but for exercise not for the office. There is certainly no point in introducing something to your office that poses certain risks and increases the discomfort of employees while they work.

Based on the pros vs cons that we have covered so far, exercise balls don’t seem to be a viable option for office use.

Featured image: Source