Workout While You Work, Without Actually Working Out

I am sitting at my desk writing to you and I’m working out at the same time.

No, I’m not doing any of the desk exercises I posted a few weeks back.

I have a secret weapon that helps me keep my core activated while I sit and work at my computer.  Are you ready?  Here it is…

Gaiam Ball Chair

I sit on this when I work at my computer.  Yes, sometimes I stand, since I also have a sit/stand desk which we will talk about later.   However, when I’m sitting, I’m sitting on this.  It’s a ball, it’s a chair, it’s my favorite BALL CHAIR!

Sitting on a stability ball has been suggested as a bio mechanically correct solution for years now.  The problem with just sitting on a stability ball is that when you stand up briefly the ball rolls away.  It can also be very difficult to find a ball tall enough to elevate you to where you can set up proper ergonomics at your desk.  While a good idea, in reality, a standard stability ball doesn’t cut it for hours of office work.

Gaiam’s ball chair has been in my life for a long time.  Let me tell you the many reasons why…

WORKS THE CORE
Sitting on a bouncy, unstable surface, can force you to activate muscles in your core that you wouldn’t activate when sitting on a regular chair.  I tell clients all the time, “If you want to work your balance, you have to be imbalanced”.  Therefore, if you want to work your core, you need to sit on a surface that will require you to work your core to be stable.

ALIGN YOUR PELVIS
When you are sitting on a flat surface it’s easy for you to tuck your pelvis under and round your back.  This forces the whole spine to round and create that ugly “c” shape in the spine.  However, sitting on a ball chair naturally places your pelvis in a more ergonomically correct position.  The curved position of sitting area at the top of the ball forces you to place your sitz bones at the top of ball, which then promotes a more natural curvature of the lumbar (lower) spine.  With this correction of the lumbar spine, comes a higher likelihood that the upper spine position will fall into the correct position.

STOP BAD HABITS
Many people love to sit incorrectly while working at their desk.  They sit on one leg, or cross one leg over the other, or lean backwards into a full rounded position, or lean forward so that your eyes are almost glued to the screen.  You get the picture.  All of these are common habits that can be easily avoided by sitting on the ball chair.  It’s so much harder to sit on one leg when your surface is not flat!  Sitting on a ball chair is a commitment to eliminating bad habits and improving your posture.

USE THE BALL
I love having a ball in my work space for the simple fact that I can use the ball to do streFile_000 (12)tches throughout the day. You can easily take the ball out of its holder and use it for exercise.  There are a multitude of exercises and stretches that can be done on a stability ball.  Here are a few examples of what I can do by simply taking the ball out of the chair:

File_003 (5)There are few things you should know about the ball chair.  Height adjustment options are to inflate or deflate the ball, or adjust the legs of the holder.  The back of the chair is NOT meant for leaning, but is supposed to be used to help move around your chair and to use for and exercises that might require it as a handle for support.

Finally, when starting with any new fitness equipment, it’s best to start in small doses.  A few hours at a time until you get strong enough and adjusted to the new sitting posture.

Gaaim’s ball chair can be purchased here. This is fantastic timing too since there is a 20% off sale going on right NOW!

If you buy one, be sure to send me a picture of you sitting on it! Or hope on over to the VerticAlign facebook page to post a picture.

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