Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Stability Ball Chair for the Office

My office desk chair disappeared over the summer while my clinic flooring was being waxed.  So as I started off the new school year in the health clinic, I spent the first week on a stability ball that was part of a healthy initiative a couple years ago where students were given in place of regular chairs.  I really liked the use of a stability ball in place of a regular office chair.  The only issue I had was the frequent need to scoot away and stand when attending to my patients. I found my ball rolling away or not being in the position that was conducive to working. I did a little research online and found stability ball chairs with wheels.  After much consideration, I went ahead and ordered another stability ball with it's wheel base.  (It seems buying just the base is nearly impossible unless you want to spend an unreasonable high price).  Once my fitball chair arrived, I took the current stability ball I had been using at my desk and placed it into the chair base.  My current ball was a little on the tall side so I ended up pumping up the ball that came with the base. 

Since using the fitball chair, I haven't experienced the typical hip pains associated with long sitting in an office chair.  My back also feels better throughout the day. I'm able to lean side to side or in different positions for frequent stretching throughout my work day.  I'm not really a bouncy person so I don't typically bounce on the chair all that often.  Fitball chairs claim to build a healthier back, align the spine, relieve pain, and improve overall well being. While I agree with some of the claims, I also found that certain desk modifications can add to the benefits of any office chair scenario such as raising or lowering your computer monitor to allow proper alignment of your back and neck at eye level.

Some major considerations for my fitball chair purchase were whether or not I'd need the back support for my chair.  I opted to order the backless version as I didn't see the benefit of the chair back when I didn't see myself sitting far back enough to make use of it.  I also wanted to make sure the chair could be used with my desk cycle. (For more information about the Desk Cycle, read my Desk Cycle for Your Sedentary Work Day.) I had to test out whether the Desk Cycle worked with the fitball chair once I got my chair delivered.  I did a test run at home with the Desk Cycle and found it worked perfectly. 

I've been using the fitball chair for a month.  I am able to use my Desk Cycle without any issues.  I've also found myself engaging my abdominal muscles for little workouts throughout the day.  I do have to make sure that I don't slouch and round my shoulders. This has been the cause of major neck and upper back pain.  I may need to elevate my laptop computer so this will no longer be a problem.  I have plenty of nursing care plan books that I'm not using in my clinic so I think I will need to play around with those to see if that is truly the issue with my posture.  Overall, I'm really loving the chair alternative. 

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