I Used a Stability Ball as a Chair and it Actually Helped My Back

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

A few weeks ago, my daily routine was catapulted into chaos when New York City shut down non-essential businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and my small bedroom turned into a makeshift office overnight. While I wasn’t mentally prepared for my living space to turn into a workspace, I tried to make the most of it.

At first, the ball takes a bit of getting used to. Its tendency to roll means you’ll have to activate your entire body—with a focus on the core and keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground— to prevent movement. Unlike a chair, it also requires good posture and balance to maintain a comfortable seated position. While I can’t pretend I’m getting a serious workout sitting on the stability ball, I definitely do feel a shift in energy.

ishonest No.501 - Frizzy Hair

No.501 - Frizzy Hair

Another benefit of using the stability ball is that it reduces strain on both my neck and my back. The stability ball puts my laptop right at my eyeline, similar to a standing desk, so I’m not hunched over trying to read my screen. Plus, it’s super easy to store when I’m feeling a change of location like the couch or kitchen table.

To buy: Pure Fitness Exercise Stability Ball, from $19; bedbathandbeyond.com

Best of all, it doubles as the ultimate piece of home workout equipment, perfect for conquering this strengthening routine by Jillian Michaels or a core-focused combination by Kelsey Wells. Most balls even come with a list of sweat-inducing exercises to start conquering right away.

With at-home equipment quickly selling out, I’d recommend checking out this anti-burst exercise ball from Pure Fitness. It’s made from a heavy-duty PVC that’s both BPA and latex-free. Unlike other models, it also has an anti-burst shell that slowly deflates if punctured.

Needless to say, I won’t be abandoning my new desk chair anytime soon. In fact, I even plan to bring it with me to the office once it reopens. In the meantime, I’ll be taking advantage of it’s dual work and workout benefits.

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