While this nontraditional option isn’t for everyone, trading your chair for a yoga ball might be worth a try if you repeatedly catch yourself hunching over your keyboard. It’s smart to ease into the transition—perhaps you could borrow an exercise ball from a friend or your community gym, just to try it out. Give it a test drive for a portion of your workday, and for a week or two, before purchasing one and kicking your desk chair to the curb. Different air pressures and sizes also need to be taken into consideration to find the right fit for you.
SPINE ALIGNMENT – The yoga ball aids you in sitting properly and correcting spine alignment, which not only improves your posture but can also decrease back pain.
CONVENIENCE – It’s easier to grab a spare minute or two to incorporate a quick workout or healthy stretch when you’re already on the ball, so to speak.
CIRCULATION – As you change positions throughout the day—rotate to answer the phone, turn to face your computer, stand and then re-situate on the ball—you are stimulating circulation, whereas a desk chair applies the same pressure to the same parts of your body throughout the day.
STRENGTH – With the ball you’ll use your core muscles to help your body deal with the constant changes in balance.
ENERGY – Being more mobile naturally keeps you feeling energized and of course, exercise keeps you fit…who knew you could burn through calories just sitting at your desk?
There are ball-chair combinations also available if a compromise between the two seems more appealing. Some provide a backrest—great for beginners to the concept. Of course, always consult your physician before making such a change if you are prone to back pain or injuries.
Whether or not you go the ball route, there’s another way of relieving the pressure of sitting at your desk all day—stand for at least 10-15 minutes of every hour. Be creative: Take a phone call or conduct a brief meeting on your feet.