With more people working from home, you’ve probably seen a lot of home office setups on social media. One big trend we’ve noticed is people using exercise or yoga ball office chair alternatives.
If you’ve seen this, you’re probably wondering what are the benefits to using a yoga ball as a chair, and should you be doing it too? Today, we’re going to discuss these topics as well as the pros and cons of this particularly funky type of office furniture. We’ll also give some recommendations of some of our favorite yoga balls.
Using a Yoga Ball as Office Chair
When you think of sitting down to work, chances are you think of a classic executive office chair. Now that yoga balls as office chairs are gaining popularity, this image is slowly changing. Many of us spend all day sitting in the same chair, which can lead to back pain, poor posture, stiffness and general muscle aches. Switching your chair for a yoga ball desk chair can seem like an appealing solution, so let’s consider some of the pros and cons.
Benefits of a Yoga Ball Chair
A yoga ball is one of the most recognizable and common pieces of workout equipment. These large, elastic, air-filled balls are used for yoga, pilates, stretching and many other physical exercises. They promote balance and improved posture by providing instability.
Introducing this instability into your everyday sitting arrangement can help to work on your balance and strengthen your muscles. It can strengthen the muscles in your back, helping to support your spine and hip alignment. By engaging your core, back and pelvic muscles altogether while you sit, it can improve your posture and get you in the habit of sitting correctly.
A lot of women also find sitting on a yoga ball to be comfortable during pregnancy since it can relieve so much pressure on the back. Those who have recently given birth or gone through other traumatic physical events may also find some measure of comfort from a yoga ball chair compared to a standard office chair.
Cons of Yoga Ball Desk Chairs
While this type of seat can benefit many people, those who suffer from acute lower back pain should seek advice from a physical therapist regarding the best and most supportive option, as it can worsen their discomfort.
Sitting in any position for too long can encourage bad habits in posture. Like any seat, you must be actively paying attention to your posture to find the benefits, otherwise you might find yourself getting a little too comfortable and hunching over.
If you are new to sitting on a yoga ball, we recommend limiting how long you use it to start with. Start with using it for 30 minutes at a time, gradually increasing this to two hours as you get stronger. Building up your strength and stamina will prevent your muscles from getting tired, which could distract you from working.
Make sure you buy the right sized ball for your height. As with most good chair posture, you want your knees at a right angle with your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Any lower or higher can cause discomfort.
Best Yoga Ball Chair: Our Top Picks
Now that we’ve considered the pros and cons of a yoga ball as a desk chair, let us show you a few of our favorite options.
If you’re looking to have something that looks the most like an office chair, this one from Gaiam features easy-glide caster wheels on the base, although it is the priciest one on our list. There is a supportive bar on the back to help with posture, and a securing bar on the front. You can also remove the 20.5 inch ball for exercises, making it a great versatile option – everyone loves a multifunctional item in the home.
It is only available in one size, which they say works for anyone between five feet and five foot 11 inches but optional leg extenders (sold separately) make the chair taller. Available in seven colors, there’s sure to be one that matches your decor.Buy on Amazon
This option is a yoga ball first, office chair replacement second. What this means is that it is a perfect option for someone prioritizing versatility. The best part about the URBNFit ball is that it comes in five different size options. This means you can easily find the size that will be the most comfortable for your height. Plus, it comes in 10 colors, making it a breeze to match your decor.
If the idea of a free rolling exercise ball seems like too much chaos for your workspace, URBNFit also makes a Stand Base for the ball. This locks the exercise ball into place so you can focus on your posture and balance. It also works with all available sizes of the exercise ball.Buy on Amazon
If the URBNFit ball was for workouts first, sitting second, the ProBody ball chair is the opposite. Designed specifically for sitting, this ball chair looks more like furniture and less like workout equipment, thanks to the fabric cover.
Available in three neutral colors, this ball chair will fit with any decor. It features a convenient carrying handle and a machine washable cover. The base has silicone dots to prevent slipping on smooth surfaces. Just like the Gaiam chair, the ProBody also only comes in one size, 24 inches.Buy on Amazon
Bottom Line on Yoga Balls as Desk Chairs
While everyone getting up to ditch their office chair for a full time exercise ball might not be the most reasonable option, switching up your seating choices can be as important to your health as alternating between sitting, sitting crossed legged, and simply standing.
Making sure you are still aware of how you’re sitting will give you the best results, as well as being mindful to not cause muscle fatigue. If you have ongoing back discomfort, are pregnant, or recently had surgery, we would strongly suggest you speak to your doctor or healthcare provider before using an exercise ball as a desk chair.