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Stability Ball as desk chair

Catrin2012-01-18 00:23:27 +0000 #1
Has anyone tried using a stability ball as your office chair with an existing neck injury? A day of sitting in this chair seems to create far more muscle spasms and swelling in my neck than pretty much a day spent doing anything else. I am TRYING not to turn to too many drugs if I can manage it.

I've read that some use stability balls and have decreased muscle spasms and tension, but their symptoms may have been from from job stress or a bad fitting chair...I've a quite technical position and right now I do not have the option of cutting my hours back - there is just too much work to do and I am the only one qualified to do it at this time.
snapdragen2012-01-18 00:30:08 +0000 #2
I've never tried it, so I can't help you there.

Have you considered a standing desk? Or at least one where you can sit and/or stand when you're working?
GLC19682012-01-18 00:45:18 +0000 #3

Originally Posted by snapdragen

I've never tried it, so I can't help you there.

Have you considered a standing desk? Or at least one where you can sit and/or stand when you're working?

I was thinking the same thing. I now have a standing desk (with a tall, stool-chair for occasional sitting) and it has worked wonders for my whole body (from hip issues to back issues to digestive issues...). I really love it.

I did read somewhere that a stability ball is better than a supportive chair once you get used to it because it forces you to use your own skeleton and muscles to support yourself. Chairs are inherently bad because they do all the supporting for you. Let me see if I can find the article...

OK, it's a blog, but he does reference a lot of articles (and says a stool is better than a chair, not a stability ball, but I would think the benefits would be the same):

Sitting is Unhealthy:

That said, I would imagine there would be an adjustment period as you build up the muscles to hold the posture.
Melalvai2012-01-18 01:26:52 +0000 #4
I don't have neck issues but when I started using my ball for a chair, I used it for an hour a day, then two hours a day. Even now, when I've been using it for a year, it's just my morning chair. I could use it all day, but I like having my morning chair and my afternoon chair.
malkin2012-01-18 02:16:58 +0000 #5
Just try it, and if it doesn't work, try something else.
OakLeaf2012-01-18 00:56:36 +0000 #6
I haven't used one, but it seems to me that neck issues have more to do with where your desk is in relation to your face, than what your lumbar spine is doing. (Not that the spine isn't all connected, obviously.)

I used a kneeling chair for years and really liked it. But I think what might be the first line of attack for neck problems is to put your monitor up on a hutch or whatever so it's at eye level - if your main computer is a laptop, get a separate keyboard for it. If you're on the phone a lot at work and/or frequently turning away from your computer screen, try to turn your chair so that you're not holding your head to the side all the time (btdt).
indysteel2012-01-18 03:22:23 +0000 #7
In addition to Oak's suggestion, I think you need to be mindful of your neck posture when you are seated. The tendency is to hold you head too far forward. Ideally, your ears should be balanced directly above your shoulders. Of course there are other aspects of seated posture and alignment that you should be mindful of, too. I would encourage you to start there before trying a stability ball. Some of what I have read about that suggests that people with existing injuries should not use a stability bar.
malkin2012-01-18 02:26:44 +0000 #8
If you are straining your neck by moving your head forward when you sit at a desk, it could be a vision issue. The right correction could help.



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