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Balance-ball

7 Reasons Why a Balance Ball Chair Is Good for Your Spine

Many of us spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk. And many of us experience a good deal of back and neck pain as well as headaches during that time. One reason is because those who design office chairs are not building them to fit our bodies; they are thinking of them as furniture to fit a particular “look.” Add to that the keyboard and monitor heights which are typically not appropriate for the user, and you have a perfect opportunity for spine issues to creep in.

Just because you must stay at a desk doesn’t mean you have to deal with these issues, however. Recently some designers have developed chairs that can alleviate many of these concerns. The chair consists of an balance ball in a stationary base. (The ball may also be known as a stability ball, yoga ball, Swiss ball, or physioball.) If a full chair will not work for you, a balance wedge or disk that sits on the seat of your chair is another alternative. The downside of the balance ball chairs and disks is that they need to be re-inflated periodically and have a weight limit of 300 pounds. However, the benefits may outweigh those issues. These are some of the benefits that researchers are finding.

 

Balance Ball Benefits

  • Engages Your Core Muscles

Because the balance ball is not stationary, it forces you to keep making small movements to stay balanced. This movement engages the core muscles of your back, abdomen, and pelvic floor.

 

  • Improves Posture

As you build those core muscles, your posture will  improve. When your head, spine, and pelvis are all in alignment, you will both look better and feel better.

 

  • Increases Circulation

Because you are constantly moving, circulation is improved.

 

  • Relieves Back Pain

As your core muscles become stronger, you will be less likely to slouch as you get tired. In fact, the chair makes slouching at a desk almost impossible.

 

  • Gives You an Opportunity for Mini Exercise Breaks

If you have opportunities to take little breaks in your work day, you can use the balance ball in or out of its frame to provide a quick chance for some good exercise.

 

  • Helps You to Maintain Focus

We work better when we are not sitting completely still. There is a pathway in our nervous system between the area that controls movement/balance and the area that controls our ability to focus. Studies show that the bit of movement we get from sitting on a balance ball increases our attentiveness and focus.

 

  • Helps Children with Attention Deficit

Researchers are finding that students who have ADD, ADHD, a sensory processing disorder, or those who just need to fidget are helped by these chairs because the chairs give the students a “productive” outlet for that need to move. When they are moving, they are also better able to focus.

 

No chair can provide all the movement that we need. We still need to engage the larger muscles of our extremities, which we can do only by walking or stretching. A good rule of thumb is to get up and move about at least once every hour. No chair is perfect for everyone, but a balance ball chair can be a good option for many people.

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/childs-posture-5-tips-help-improve/

http://maronewellness.com/a-forgotten-source-of-support-while-you-work/

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Because of the way car seats are made, it is very easy for us to curl our torsos as we sit at the steering wheel, and the weight of our body ends up being supported by our tailbone. But the tailbone is not designed to carry that weight. Our “sit bones”—the ones that are shaped like rockers and that can be felt underneath you when you are sitting—are the bones that are supposed to be holding us up.

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Keep Your Head Balanced for More Ease While Working

Last time we discussed your sit bones. Now let’s look at your head’s role in computer posture—or your posture at any time!

Heads Up!

With your upper body balanced over the sit bones, let’s look at your head. Take a moment to be aware of your head. Where is it? Is it balanced over the top of your spine, or is it leaning forward to see the screen? The second option is all too common. The head is at the opposite end of the spine from the sit bones. It counterbalances the sit bones. If either end is out of balance, then the whole upper body is compromised.

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How Are You Sitting While Using Your Computer?

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Any time we balance on the correct part of our skeleton, the muscles are not overworked to hold us up. We have several balancing points in our torso. If we allow those to line up, then we will be held upright by the skeleton and the muscles that were designed to do the job. A typical slumping posture may seem to be more relaxed, but it actually leads to more tension.

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Today almost all of us love the things technology can do for us. It can help us find the information we need, entertain us, or connect us to anyone in the world. What we don’t love so much is the way we often feel after we have spent time in front of our laptop, tablet or cell phone. Many common complaints today can be traced back to our use of technology: Pain and fatigue in the muscles and joints, nerve injuries, high blood pressure, decreased muscle strength, and muscle swelling have all been associated with long periods of computer use. New terms have even been coined recently to describe some of this. You’ve probably heard of “text neck” or “text thumbs.”

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3 Tips for Pain-Free Gardening

During the winter we spend most of our time in our offices working or snuggled on the couch with a hot drink. Then spring comes, and suddenly we are bending, twisting, stretching, reaching, digging, chopping, sweeping, kneeling, climbing, pushing, pulling, carrying…and the list goes on! Many times our body will let us know in no uncertain terms that it doesn’t appreciate all this change!

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