If you’ve been tempted to ‘think outside the box’ in a desperate attempt to solve your back pain you may want to consider carefully your choice of office seating. It is easy to get carried away with claims that fitness balls are the magic bullet for office postural problems but does the science back up the claims and will they be right for you?
Komac office seating vs exercise balls
The theory behind using an exercise ball at your desk makes perfect sense. As you perch on an exercise ball you are very un-supported and you have to make continual adjustments to your posture to stop yourself from falling off. Core muscle training is a great idea at the gym but it may not be what your body needs at the office. The problems arise because we spend a long time at our desk; at least 8 hours a day for the average worker. That is a very long work-out and it could leave your muscles strained and exhausted. This is unlikely to help your aches and pains and could even make them worse.
In contrast, well-designed and manufactured office seating provides support and postural correction throughout the long office day. Your muscles are rested and relaxed and so you don’t feel so exhausted when you have finished work and aches and pains are minimised.
What happens to your body when you use an exercise ball
If you decide to swap Komac office seating for an exercise ball you may find that the following are the case.
- High levels of muscle fatigue. Your core muscles will get tired from the constant movement as you attempt to keep the ball stationary. After several hours, most people get tired and resort to tucking their feet under the ball to keep it stable. This is a very unnatural posture and can make back ache worse instead of better.
- The movement is not enough to help your postural health in the long-term. The magnitude of muscle activation is not that great. In fact, the effect on spine posture and spine loads can actually increase discomfort.
- You may not be complying with health and safety regulations. The law requires employees to have their health and safety safeguarded and this may require a stable, adjustable chair with back support. Exercise balls do not have adjustable heights so they cannot help you to look directly at a monitor or attain a good arm position whilst working at a desk.
- There are other health and safety issues. Getting on and off a gym ball is not always that easy and can lead to falls. They can also burst and this can lead to nasty injuries.
Find out more about our range of office chairs at Office Furniture Online. We have an extensive selection of office chairs like Komac Office Seating that will give you the support and postural correction you need whilst complying with health and safety regulations.