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Ditch Your Desk Chair – Work That Body!

by Missy Ward in For The Heck of It   &  , , , , ,   18 Comments


I’ve worked at home for the last 5-1/2 years and while it definitely has its perks, I find that one of the biggest downers about it is that I seldom walk away from my desk. Let’s face it, it’s not like I have a whole lot of options to go somewhere else. There is no “other department” to walk into, no water cooler in which to share juicy gossip, no long list of co-workers to go to lunch with. It’s just me, my PC and my ergonomically-friendly, yet strangely uncomfortable swivel chair.

So a few weeks ago I was expressing my frustration to my trainer and he suggested that I try sitting on a stability ball (aka swiss ball, yoga ball, exercise ball), instead of my chair, so that I can do something good for myself while I’m just sitting around all day.He explained that stability ball works your body, even when you’re not working out. Because the ball itself is not steady, your body needs to make adjustments using its muscles, in order to obtain stabilization and prevent you from falling over. The muscles used during these adjustments known as the “core muscle group” (abdomen and back) need to constantly work and as a by-product get stronger.

He further explained that while I was not likely get that great 6-pack that I’ve been looking for just by sitting on the stability ball for a solid 8 hours a day, strengthening my core will help support my back and stop me from further destroying what’s left of my good posture and possibly alleviate my backaches.

I have to admit, I thought the idea was silly and also dangerous, especially for me given the fact that I’m such a klutz (see post from yesterday). How on earth was I going to sit on this ball and try to type and speak on the phone at the same time? I don’t know about you, but I’m still trying to master the “texting while walking” scenario. But, I figured that a $20.00 investment would at least provide entertainment to my husband who sits in his office 300 yards away, a couple of days per week.

So I gave it a shot and hopped on about 3 weeks ago. Day one was not easy. Not only did I roll off the ball several times, but at the end of the day, my abs hurt. So did my quads and my hamstrings. Day two: I only fell twice, yet those same body parts were sore plus now, my gluts and calves were tender. During the rest of the week, I remained ON the stability ball all day and started feeling good about the minor aching that I had in my lower body. The pain meant it was working.

I debriefed my trainer on Monday on how it was going and he let me in on one additional perk about sitting on the stability ball. Apparently people that sit on a stability ball vs. an office chair burn 8 more calories per hour on average. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, over the course of the week, it adds up to the calories needed to metabolize one cup of Starbucks Mud Pie ice cream.

Extra calorie burn and tighter abs, legs and butt by just sitting at my desk? Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

Give it a shot and let me know how it works for you.PS – I typed this entire blog post while sitting on my stability ball.

If I've inspired you to give the stability ball a whirl, send me your picture. I'd love to post it here.

Scott Jangro on his stability ball.


Todd Crawford's ball on the way to his office


Todd Crawford on his stability ball

 

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Missy Ward

Co-Founder & President at Affiliate Summit, Inc.
Missy Ward has been in affiliate marketing since 1999. She is the Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, FeedFront Magazine, GeekCast.fm, itsaWAHMthing.com; the Co-Publisher of Revenews.com, Founder of AffiliateMarketersGiveBack.com and manages many of her own affiliate sites. If she's not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on her part and it will be corrected soon.

Comment & Add Your Voice

1 Scott Jangro November 19, 2009 at 8:06 am

I'm totally serious. I'm sitting on a big exercise ball right now.

Reply

2 Kimberly H. March 26, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Hey Trisha,
I’m short too- 5’2″ and I sit on a 55cm ball. Make sure you don’t get one that’s too big for you otherwise you might end up hurting yourself more than you’re helping. Luckily my workplace is getting better about ergonomics, so they’re going to lower my desk for me. But you definitely want to be able to have your feet flat on the ground and sit comfortably.

Reply

3 Wade Tonkin March 7, 2008 at 1:46 pm

I need to break out the ball – I have one – and my current office chair just sucks, Not to mention – let’s be honest, I can use the core workout.

– Wade

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4 admin March 7, 2008 at 8:28 am

Send it over Karen!

Reply

5 Sam Harrelson March 6, 2008 at 6:23 pm
6 Sam Harrelson March 6, 2008 at 6:22 pm

I have a story.

I used one of these for a few months last winter. Then, one day the ball was getting low on air, so I decided to manually blow some air back into it. While in the process of doing that, the little needle thing in the valve popped out of its place and flew down my windpipe. I couldn’t breath, gag or yell for help (Anna was down the hall). So, I had to do a self-Heimlich maneuver on my chair.

Scariest minute of my life and I definitely saw my life flash before my eyes.

So, yeah… be careful of blowing those balls.

Reply

7 Todd Crawford March 6, 2008 at 6:21 pm

I am on my ball in an undisclosed location.

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8 missyward March 5, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I should have done video of it. It was priceless. I’m telling you — two days and you’re home free from falling off. That is unless your kids sneak up on you and scare you off 🙂

Reply

9 Jim Kukral March 5, 2008 at 8:01 pm

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a year now. Finally giving me reason to go out and get one. I’ll send a pic in some day when I do.

You don’t happen to have video of yourself falling off the ball on day one do you? It just sounds comical doesn’t it? You’re on the phone with a vendor, chatting… whoops.. clunk.

Reply

10 missyward March 5, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Shawn- you’re so right. I owe weviews.tv a current review. I’ll knock it out today or tomorrow.

Reply

11 affiliatetip March 5, 2008 at 5:27 am

Hey Missy –

How about a WeView of this thing?

Reply

12 TrishaLyn March 4, 2008 at 8:58 pm

That sounds like a great alternative, but with my short stature and clumsiness I fear I’d be rolling off of it all day :p I still may try it out though.

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13 Eric Nagel March 5, 2008 at 12:46 am

I’ve been thinking about getting one myself – as I “sit” here after a long day, almost horizontal, my butt hanging off the chair while I look up at the monitors. I need some help in the posture department.

Reply

14 Scott Jangro March 4, 2008 at 9:57 pm

on its way.

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15 missyward March 4, 2008 at 9:20 pm

@Jangro – I want a picture for this post!

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16 Scott Jangro March 4, 2008 at 8:56 pm

I’m totally serious. I’m sitting on a big exercise ball right now.

Reply

17 missyward March 4, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Don’t knock it till you try it Scott. If you don’t like it, you can go back to sitting in your Bugatti of seating.

Reply

18 Scott Jangro March 4, 2008 at 8:31 pm

ok missy. I’ve ditched my herman miller aeron for a rubber ball.

Reply

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