Our body is not designed to stay sit for long hours, scientists say. The problem is that when we sit down we are relaxing certain muscles for too much time, thus making them weaker. The result is low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other common diseases.
But what you can do if you have a job that requires you to stay sit for 8 hours every day? One solution might be to install an infrastructure that let’s you work while walking on a treadmill, but that’s expensive and it doesn’t work in most situations (except meeting perhaps).
Another solution, which is simpler and very cheap, is to use an exercise ball as your office chair.
my dirty cheap exercise ball chair
The advantages of using an exercise ball are many:
- Stability. The first advantage of using an office chair is that it doesn’t offer the same stability as your regular chair, so your body is forced to use its muscles to create stability.
- Spine alignment. Since the ball is always moving a bit, the only position that feels comfortable is the one where your spine is correctly aligned with your body.
- Promotes breaks. It’s really important to take constant breaks. You should ideally take many small breaks every hour where you stand up and move around. I found that by using an exercise ball I’m more inclined to take a break, as my body is always active.
- Exercise. Don’t forget that the exercise ball was born for doing exercises and stretching. That means you can easily do quick exercises when you have 5 minutes available.
- Lose weight. I don’t really need to lose weight but since my body muscles are always active, I do burn more calories and thus I can potentially lose some weight.
- It’s dirty cheap. Office chairs are a serious business and they cost a lot of money. It’s very easy to spend more than 1000 dollars if you want a good chair. An exercise ball tough is a total different story, as you can get one from prices ranging from 15 to 30 dollars.
- Catch attention. I don’t know if this is a benefit or not, but if you work with other people, you’ll sure catch their attention, and chances are that everyone will want to sit on an exercise ball as well when you explain them all these points.
If you already own an exercise ball, it’s easy for you to give it a try, otherwise you should be able to find one in any gym store.
Although most people have reported overnight benefits, you may want to try it at home for a few weeks before bringing it to the office, as your body will probably need some time to adapt.
You can also try to meditate on it if you feel like.