Spending the majority of my 8 hour day sitting at a desk was taking a toll on my body. I had constant back pain, leg cramps, and watched my weight creep up. After reading articles about the dangers of sitting all day, I knew I had to make a change. Sure, I wanted to live a long, healthy life and be there for my family, so I decided I had to do something. Quitting my job wasn’t an option (because I love it) but I started some research on the Internet and I finally found Gaiam balance ball chair. Working tirelessly in my cubicle from 9-5 I wish I would have had access to this product earlier.
#1 Gaiam Balance Ball Chair
It is impossible to avoid sitting and working in today’s culture, but the ball chair for your workplace has many benefits if you are looking for a healthy alternative to sitting stagnant all day. Not only will you alleviate the aching back pain you endure after hours of sitting, but you will also have better posture which promotes a healthier back.
Moreover, I am always looking for ways to strengthen my core muscles. If you, too, are looking to engage your core while you are sitting and working, this chair might benefit you as it is an effective tool to strengthen those core muscles. Should you be are under 5’0″ a simple option would be to purchase a Gaiam balance ball for your correct height and alternate between sitting on the balance ball and your desk chair. I would also consider your work environment before purchasing. If you are in a space where many people sit at your desk or a retail setting, this product wouldn’t be ideal for you.
This balance ball chair was created under the consultation of chiropractor Dr. Randy Weinzoff to promote the well-being of office dwellers. It combines a balance ball you use during workouts with your office chair to improve back health and spinal alignment. Included is a 52-centimeter balance ball that is removable, an adjustable support bar, easy-glide casters, and an air pump.
This chair is designed to help those who are looking to incorporate health and wellness into their day-to-day work routines. It forces you to have proper posture all day, so if you are not ready to give up slouching I would wait to give it a try. Trying to decide if this ball chair for your workspace is right for you?
A few pros and cons to consider.
Alleviates back, leg, arm aches from sitting
Engages and strengthens your core
Forces proper posture
Aligns the spine
Could be uncomfortable at first
Not for jobs where you share a desk
Not if you are under 5′
Not for someone who is overweight (300 lbs+)
Another option for the ball chair is the custom fit adjustable version. If you are overweight or the specs don’t match your specific body type, this version would be a great alternative. With the custom fit chair, you get the same comfort and stability of the original option.
Some additional accessories available for the balance ball chair.
#1 – Additional or Replacement Ball
If you are using the Ball Chair for your workplace and share your space with co-workers, you do have the option of purchasing an additional ball. That way you can each have your own personal ball and still use the same chair and desk space.
Although Gaiam’s Balance balls are anti-burst, in a busy workplace environment is it possible for the ball to become damaged.
Over 5’11, but want to take advantage of the wellness aspect of this chair? Leg extenders allow anyone taller to do so. These leg extenders raise the suggested height limit to 6’1” and are installed easily.
The leg extensions are also a great option if your desk is higher than the average desk height. My desk at home is about 4 cm taller than the average desk, so using leg extensions would allow me to comfortably complete tasks.
#3 – Gaiam balance ball covers
When I use these balance balls to workout it is inevitable that my skin will rub against the ball ending in a few expletives. I love the idea of these ball covers made of faux velvet to create a more comfortable sitting experience.
Color options are sage, plum, and chocolate and will coordinate well with any existing office decor.
They also have an easy removal if you want to wash your ball cover or exchange for a new color you can simply zip them off to replace.
#4 – Ball Chair Pump
Although there is an included ball pump, if you were to lose or damage a ball pump you can easily purchase a replacement pump.
Inflating with the pump is easy, but it may be necessary to re-inflate your new Balance Ball once or twice after the initial inflation.
Guide to your Gaiam Balance Ball Chair
If you decided to purchase a Gaiam Balance Ball Chair I’m sure you want to take good care of it. And although the package includes instructions I think my tips are really useful since I have been using my Balance Ball Chair for a while.
Instructions to inflate the Gaiam Balance Ball
1. Remove the ball from packaging and inspect for shipping damage. It is normal for the ball to have slight creases or fold marks when first inflated.
2. Before inflating the ball, use a tape measure or ruler to mark 55cm or 22″ on wall or floor, or place two objects approximately 55cm apart. This will be your guide for proper inflation size.
3. Make sure that the ball is at room temperature before inflating.
4. Using the supplied pump, insert it into the inflation hole in the ball. Inflate the Balance Ball® to the desired height and firmness. DO NOT over-inflate.
5. Remove pump from Balance Ball® and immediately insert the plug into the hole (so the head is flush with the surface of the ball).
6. Never inflate the ball larger than 55cm or 22″ in diameter
As far as the chair is concerned, the assembly is also easy-to-follow with only a four-step diagram to follow.
A few tips on caring for the balance ball that I found helpful
1. Always handwash the Balance Ball with a soft cloth and warm soapy water. Do not use harsh or abrasive chemicals or cleaning tools that may scratch or damage the Balance ball or chair.
2. Avoid placing or rolling the Balance Ball® on newspaper, photocopies or other materials printed in ink, as ink may permanently mark the ball.
3. Avoid placing the ball in sunny or bright areas that will bring in extreme heat.
If you are anything like me, you like to scour the internet for reviews before buying! I want to know what actual consumers are saying about any product before purchasing.
I found some honest and real testimonials of customers that have shared their real opinions.
Dakster Sullivan from Geekdad relays his experience:
“After losing my ball to a pair of scissors (I should have taken my own advice), I had to sit in my regular chair for two weeks while I waited for a replacement to arrive. During those two weeks, I realized how much of a difference my Balance Ball chair made in my overall focus and comfort levels while at work. Now that I’m sitting pretty on my replacement ball, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to go from ordinary chair to extraordinary chair.”
Halycon from Amazon says:
“I’ve been using it for a month now and am so glad I purchased it. My lower back feels so much better and so do my feet! Why my feet you ask? I’ve had the bad habit for years of sitting on my feet, I guess due to being short, and I’ve developed all sorts of foot pains from the compression of sitting on them all day. With this chair, I’ve been able to break that horrible habit and thought I’d share that on here since others may have the same issue.“
That’s not all!
Nissa88 from Amazon says:
“This is an awesome product/chair. It comes with the pump takes less than 10min to assemble and the two things that need to be secured you are provided a throwaway wrench or they have grips to tighten. I love the book that gives you proper sitting posture/position and exercises on the chair as well as taking the ball from the chair. Great purchase and will recommend to co-workers for their desks.”
Bichon Mom from Amazon says:
“I bought this chair on impulse four years ago and I have been very happy with the purchase.
I got this because I thought that it would help alleviate my back pain and it does. Although I do not sit on it all day I find that it is a wonderful chair to switch to in order to change my posture and take the pressure off of certain points. It is much easier to get up and down from this ball chair than from a softer chair. The chair is lightweight and so easy to roll over any type of carpeting.”
I want to share some alternative items that could help improve your well-being if you are not ready to dive into replacing your desk chair with the Gaiam balance ball chair.
A Simple Stability Ball
A good swap for your desk chair, even if it’s just a few times a day, is a regular stability ball. You could use this to try out the active sitting lifestyle.
Affordable price of $11
Ideal if you are under 5′
No back support
Not as stable
Hard to sit on just the stability ball all day
The stability cushion has two sides, one has spiky dimples for standing on and other small dimples for sitting on. During the day if you want to do some core work while standing this cushion is a great tool. The price is also unbeatable at $13.
It also is portable and can easily be thrown in a tote bag when heading to sporting events, concerts, or even out to eat. This cushion makes improving balance, coordination, and flexibility available anywhere.
Can either sit or stand on
Does not replace current desk chair
No back support
Adds height to your office chair which may hinder use
Memory Foam Seat Cushion
If you just are seeking the comfort of having additional padding in your desk chair another alternative is a memory foam cushion. This cushion is designed to help remove any strain to your lower back and thighs while sitting. Also, if you place it behind your back it helps with spinal alignment.
I like that this cushion has a dual orientation so you can tailor its use to your specific needs. Also, the price isn’t bad at just $21.
Portable for easy travel
Can use for back or to sit on
Does not engage or work core muscles
Cannot be used for stretching or other exercises
Used on existing chair, doesn’t replace desk chair
If you are struggling with back, leg, or arm pain while sitting at your desk the Gaiam Balance Ball Chair for the workplace could be a perfect fit for you.
While it does alleviate pain from your body, it also forces you to have correct posture and engages your core. The health and wellbeing benefits help to counteract the harmful side effects of sitting at a desk all day.
If you are ready, go ahead and snag one for you and start your journey to a healthier life.