To Sit or To Bounce. by Jessica Hodges
[You could do this all day right?]
Everyone has seen people at work sitting on a “exercise ball.” It’s pretty easy to judge them and assume their intentions. Oh they are trying to lose weight or look hip or be different. There are a lot of reasons to choose to sit on a ball vs a chair. But which is truly better?
Here are 5 Legitimate Reasons Why You Should Bounce:
1. Forces proper spine alignment. Because an exercise ball is not stable, your body needs to try to balance itself on it. The perfect spinal posture is coincidently the easiest to balance with. Thus, your body will automatically try to align itself into the proper posture. This helps improve your spinal health, and decrease back pains.
2. Causes you to frequently change positions. An exercise ball causes to you to change your position often to balance. For example, if you turn 45 degrees to face the phone, your body will assume a new position. This helps reduce damage caused by prolonged sitting in the same position.
3. Improve your balance. This one is very understandable. Sitting on an unstable surface all day will improve your sense of balance, as well as the reactions of your muscles. The result? An overall better balance, that can be observed out of the office.
4. Get that 6-pack you’ve been wanting. Your body primarily uses your core (abdominal) muscles to help compensate for changes in balance. Thus, your essentially getting a low-key abdominal workout. This may not sound like a lot, but consider the amount of time you spend on your computer at the office, or at home. Those hours can build up, and result in a strengthening of ab muscles.
5. You’ll feel more energetic. It has been proven that staying in one position, will make you more tired, while moving around and being active with give you more energy. With an exercise ball as a chair, you will feel much more energized after you finish your work.
Here are 5 Legitimate Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Bounce:
1. Health Issues. Not good for those with osteoporosis or balance issues (unless you are looking to improves those..) One article said you shouldn’t use it if you have frequent lower back pain and one said it helps with lower back pain. You may have to test that one.
2. You still slouch. If you think the ball will fix your posture, you’re wrong. If you already have bad posture sitting in a chair, you’ll still have it on the ball without any back support. So plan to sit nice and proper if you want to switch to a ball.
3. You have to bounce to make it worth it. Studies have shown that if you don’t actually bounce or move around you might as well be sitting on a stool. At least it is comfier than a stool? Hopefully you won’t drive your co-workers crazy, bouncing up and down all day.
4. They roll away. You’ll have to make a cage under your desk to contain the ball. Also, it’s hard to sit straight on the ball the first time without it rolling. This makes for lots of squishing and resituating..driving everyone crazy.
5. They look unprofessional. The CEO finally comes to visit your branch, and what are you sitting on? You may even fall trying to stand up to shake his hand, which is not that pretty in a skirt. On the other hand, he may be impressed and actually talk to you for a second.
So what’s the verdict? Do we bounce or not bounce? I agree with many of the experts out there. Bouncing sounds like a great way to stay energetic and alert. You probably shouldn’t bounce the entire day. Rather, switch off between a chair and a ball throughout the day, noting when your back is feeling tired or sore.
And if the world were perfect, you could bounce on this:
The Giant Retro Hopper
Buy at Play.com.
What do you think? Sit or Bounce?? Or both?