Briotix News

Should I Use an Exercise Ball as an Office Chair?

Posted by David Brandenburg, CPE – February 10, 2017

Briotix discourages the use of isometric or stability balls in the workplace. While great for
encouraging engagement of your core muscles during exercise, they are not good for sitting
at a workstation and in fact research shows increase your risk of ergonomic injury.
There are serious ergonomic risk factors to consider.

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Are Exercise Balls Good to Sit on at Work? No, Here's Why

The serious ergonomic risk factors of exercise or therapy balls in the workplace include:

1. They do not promote neutral spinal posture well, meaning they tend to result in excessive
slouching, leaning, and pelvic rotation after a short period of time.

2. The additional trunk movement typically results in increased muscle strain in the low back.

3. The lack of upper body & arm supports results in increased spinal disc pressure for
users.

4. The lack of adjustability leaves many users positioned at the wrong height and fit for their desk.

And more practically speaking, the balls also present slip, trip, and fall hazards in the
workplace. We have seen numerous injuries from people falling off of them.

What's a Better Solution?

The best approach by far is to ensure you have supportive well-fitting, highly adjustable
office chairs AND a program of movement-oriented rest breaks and microbreaks to break up periods of prolonged sitting.

Our standard microbreak recommendations include:

1. Stand up for several seconds every 15-20 minutes.

2. Rest the hands completely every 20-30 minutes for 30-60 seconds. Placing the
hands in the lap or dropping them to the side are suggested resting positions.

3. Walk briskly, climb the stairs and/or make other vigorous movement for 3-4 minutes
every hour or 6-8 minutes every two hours.

Reference Article:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003687008000690

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Topics: therapy ball chairs, medicine ball chair recommendations