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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/

Good-laptop-use

Laptop Use: 6 Tips to Keep You Healthy

Laptops are an essential part of daily life these days, however they can also be a source of neck pain, back pain, and hand strain. The very aspects of the laptop that make them so useful—its small size and compact keyboard and screen all in one—are what also make it so difficult to use without putting strain on our bodies. If we move the laptop high enough to see it without having to scrunch down, the keyboard will be too high for our hands to use well. If the keyboard is at a good height, the screen will be so low we might find ourselves bending over and scrunching down to get a good look at it.

 

Laptop Tips

There are several things you can do to make a laptop work while still saving your body in the process.

 

  1. Sit up with your spine straight and head balanced. Then look out at the horizon. Move your eyes down to meet the screen, not your neck. Tilt the screen of the laptop until you can see it well without having to bend your neck or hunch your shoulders in order to see it.
  2. Move the laptop far enough away from your body so that your arms aren’t pulling backward in order to use the keyboard. Be sure your arms are able to hang freely from the shoulders without tension.
  3. Use a book to raise the laptop a little closer to eye level. (Put it under the back half of the computer to raise it at a slight angle.)
  4. Place the laptop on enough books to raise the screen up to eye level. Then attach an external keyboard and place it at a height which will allow your arms to remain parallel with the floor as you work.
  5. If you wear glasses, be sure that you adjust them to fit you, not the other way around. Sometimes we can create neck pain by adjusting our necks so we can see through our glasses rather than adjusting our glasses so they are where they need to be for us to see the screen.
  6. If you find that sitting causes pain, you may want to try standing as you work. A kitchen countertop may be just the right height. Keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet to avoid strain on your back.

 

Work is so much easier if we’re comfortable while we’re doing it! We’d love to hear from you. Let us know which tips have been the most helpful!

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/arranging-a-childs-computer-station-for-good-posture/

http://maronewellness.com/what-do-you-look-like-when-you-use-your-phone-or-tablet/

http://maronewellness.com/i-pad-hand-the-new-technology-syndrome/

http://maronewellness.com/taking-care-of-that-not-so-furry-mouse/

http://maronewellness.com/how-do-you-use-your-hands-at-the-computer/

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

 

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