You may have heard of people replacing their classic desk chair with an exercise ball, but doesn’t it seem a bit odd to replace a sleek, leather-covered, padded, rolling chair with a big ball full of air? What, exactly, is all the hype about?
There is much more to an exercise ball than first meets the eye. While sitting on an exercise ball, the body is constantly making small adjustments to remain balanced. Though these adjustments are usually unrecognizable, they are repeatedly working various muscle groups in the core and back. Using these muscles strengthens the core muscles and increases balance through improved posture.
A classic office chair is often considered a major source of back and neck pain. Most office equipment is built in a way that promotes poor posture, rather than good posture. This improper sitting can decrease productivity by reducing oxygen intake, and, in turn, energy. Slouching, or poor posture, has various short-term and long-term effects, so it should be ended sooner rather than later. Luckily, the option of using an exercise ball in place of a traditional office chair is now becoming commonplace.
Short-term, improved posture will help you to walk a little taller and sit comfortably for longer time periods, but those are not the only benefits. Improvements to your posture will take tension away from your entire body. Blood flow and breathing are quickly improved. Improvements in posture have also been shown to improve brain function and memory, along with mood increases and stress reduction. Beyond just that, improving your posture can eradicate back pain or put a stop to it before it even happens.
Sneak some exercise into the work-day. You can easily toss in some hip exercises by rolling backward or forward. You can also work your quads simply by sustaining a slow bounce. Beyond that, there are various exercises that you should probably hold off on until your lunch break, and these exercises will leave you feeling fresh for the second half of your day.
When beginning with an exercise ball in the office, you may want to use the ball for short periods of time until you become used to sitting on the ball. You will be surprised at how quickly your muscles grow tired at first, but your core and back muscles will soon adapt and strengthen with increased endurance. While on the ball, your thighs should maintain a position parallel to the floor, with upper arms remaining parallel to the spine. Keep in mind that your face should be pointed toward the middle of your computer screen rather than looking up or down to the screen.
Using an exercise ball in place of a desk chair has very clear benefits that will help you not only now, but years into the future. Your health, energy and posture can quickly be improved by making this small transition. It is time to make the smart choice to roll your desk chair out of the door and roll an exercise ball in.