On the Ball for Work and Health
Brittany McCumber is a certified peer specialist at Perry Wellness Center, and she is noted for her communication skills and her commitment to health and wellness. One way she demonstrates the latter is through her use of an exercise ball as her office chair.
“I have some muscle issues with my chair and decided to switch to the exercise ball,” Brittany explains.
We decided to so some online research about the pros and cons of using an exercise ball for prolonged sitting. Here’s what we found:
- Increased core strength
- Improved posture
- Increased calories burned
The relative instability of an exercise ball, as compared to an office chair, requires the increased use of trunk muscles, which increases core strength and leads to the above benefits.
- Unproven benefits
An exercise ball is more uncomfortable than a traditional chair for many individuals. Additionally, some research found that the use of an exercise ball does not significantly affect the manner in which most individuals actually sit.
For the reader trying to determine the best office sitting, other alternatives include sit-stand workstations and ergonomic office chairs. One thing on which most experts agree: prolonged sitting is not good for one’s overall health. Whatever type of seating is used, periods at a desk should be broken up with stretch breaks and short walks throughout the day.
Luckily, the schedule and activity level at Perry Wellness Center keep staff and peers on their toes more than in their seats! And Brittany McCumber is always on the move as she visits with peers and trouble-shoots problems that arise. It’s a work style that has built-in health benefits.
In the photo above, Brittany McCumber sits on her exercise ball as she types morning peer reports.