Monday, January 28, 2013

A Ball at the Office

"Fitness as a lifestyle" is something I hear all the time. And when it comes to the office, there's an abundance of material out there on how to make the workplace a healthier place. I'm actually kind of sick of reading the same, regurgitated tidbits over and over. Nevertheless, I have been applying some of those ideas.

Some of the suggestions are common sense. I keep a houseplant on my desk because simply looking at it calms my nerves. I use a reed diffuser with a calming, focusing fragrance. I keep herbal tea and a teacup beside the plant, accompanied by an inspiration plaque. None of these things are atypical in an office and they certainly aren't going to get me burning calories. So I brought in the stability ball.

I've been "on the ball" for about two months now. Some say it helps concentration by relieving the fidgets. I fidget in every chair and can't say the ball is any different. I have actually found myself paying too much attention to the ball and rolling away on it. Hmmm. There are some who say the activity of balancing on the ball helps students focus. I find caffeine works. I haven't been able to observe any improvement in focus or work capabilities while seated on the ball. But I will say that since it's comfortable it does allow me to pay more attention than an uncomfortable chair does, since being uncomfortable is the most distracting thing I know of.

The real question for me is whether it is "healthier."As for posture, I'm not sure if it makes any difference, and there's a small study with a similar conclusion. To be fair, I don't sit with my back supported by any chair because my legs are just too short to hit the floor if I do that. Similarly, the study also removed the backs from desk chairs that were compared with the ball, so essentially the study compared a makeshift stool with the balls and found the postural position to be much the same.

So how much healthier is sitting on a swiss ball? About as much as everything else I've done to keep my workspace a "healthy" place, which is to say, it's fun and improves my mood. Anything to improve the office mood, right?

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  1. This was a good suggestion that you put up here...dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here.
    fitness ball.

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