I spend a lot of time in my office in front of computers, and occasionally I experience some neck pain and tightness in the back as a result. Hence, other than hiring a fitness trainer once a week to get me back into the gym, I’ve been trying to take more computer breaks and improve my posture while sitting. I heard that exercise balls can help with the latter. While the evidence is lacking, I thought an exercise ball would at least be a cool thing to have. They are inexpensive enough so I decided to give one a try.
I found an “anti-burst, professional grade” GoFit Pro Ball on eBay for under $20. The package that was shipped to me was surprisingly small for a stability ball that was 65 centimeters in diameter (the recommended size for someone my height).
It included a foot pump, nozzle attachments, tape measure (to inflate to proper size), and DVD.
Ultimately I didn’t use the foot pump, though. Instead, I used my more efficient, super high quality Lezyne Steel Floor Drive bicycle pump. This made inflation a breeze.
The result can be seen at the top of this post.
How do I like it so far? At the very least, it makes me more conscious about my posture. I also do feel like I use muscles I otherwise don’t when sitting on a regular chair. It is not as relaxing as slumping on a regular chair, though.
Some people might find bouncing on it while working and listening to music fun, too. Depicted on the ball itself are a variety of different exercises one can do, such as hamstring curls, crunches, “hip bridges,” back hyperextensions, etc., if one was so inclined to do so as a work break.
I haven’t watched the DVD yet, but I imagine it shows how to do the aforementioned exercises properly with the ball.
A final benefit is that Tiger (or Oreo) can have the office chair all to herself while I work!
September 1, 2014: After using the ball off an on as a chair in the office for the last few months, I’ve concluded that it actually causes me some upper back and lower neck pain. My office chair is more comfortable. Chalk this up as a failed experiment.
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