Modern times brought a radical shift to how we work – more of us are spending our days sitting on a chair than ever before.
And although companies are constantly improving chair designs to support good posture, there are also benefits of sitting on a yoga ball while working.
We’ll say straight away – a yoga ball isn’t the perfect solution, and no better or worse than a classic office chair.
At the end of the article, we will go into some misconceptions + offer tips to use it well.
However, replacing your usual chair with a yoga ball occasionally does have its perks. Let’s jump straight into the benefits of sitting on a yoga ball so you can decide if it’s a good fit for you.
9 Benefits Of Sitting On A Yoga Ball
1. Improved Posture
One of the best-known benefits of sitting on a yoga ball and a reason why most people do it is improved posture.
Sitting on a yoga ball encourages you to engage your core and actively work on maintaining a straight spine, while a chair allows us to relax into the backrest.
In the beginning, it will be difficult to adapt to this new way of sitting, but there is a benefit in the challenge – the comfort of office chairs is often what makes us slouch.
With time, having to stay active while sitting will strengthen your back muscles and keep you conscious of how you’re sitting.
This won’t only prevent you from slouching while working, but will also improve your postural habits in the long run.
2. Stronger Core
As we mentioned in the previous section – sitting on a yoga ball encourages you to activate your core.
You need to keep these muscles engaged in order to stay up while sitting as there’s no backrest to support you.
3. Boosts Functions in The Body
The tiny movements which you are constantly doing to balance yourself on the yoga ball increase the blood flow in the body.
This boosts circulation and lessens the chance of blood clots which often happen due to prolonged sitting.
Furthermore, one of the benefits of sitting on a yoga ball is improved metabolism. The reason is that minimal muscle activity which is usual with sitting is lessened when we are on a yoga ball as there is more activity.
Finally, it can also impact our breath. Slouching over shortens our lungs and makes our breath more shallow.
Sitting with posture directly impacts lung functions and encourages us to breathe better.
4. Reduced Back Pain
Prolonged sitting increases back pain, especially because our spine is not neutral.
Sitting on a yoga ball straightens the spine, which reduces pressure on the lower back and helps alleviate pain in this area.
To increase this benefit, you can also occasionally do some exercises and stretches while sitting.
For example, you can stretch side to side with one arm overhead, or rotate your spine just as you do in yoga twists.
5. Burns More Calories
This is one of the benefits of sitting on a yoga ball which is often misunderstood.
Sitting on a yoga ball alone won’t make you burn tons of calories. However, you will burn more than you would if you were sitting on a chair.
The reason is, you are constantly doing small movements, rather than only resting all your weight on the ball.
Like in the previous benefit, you can also boost this one if you occasionally do some movements and exercises, such as leg lifts, or simply move from side to side.
The great thing about using a yoga ball for sitting is that it’s not money wasted if you give up.
Even if you take some time off sitting on a yoga ball, you can still use it for your exercise routine – and some even use it for meditation.
7. Boosts Energy and Focus
Sitting on a yoga ball naturally makes you more present and aware of your body than being relaxed in a chair.
This awareness can translate to your work, making you more focused on what you are doing. It may also increase your energy and may also boost productivity.
8. Increases Mobility
The yoga ball makes you move more naturally when compared to sitting on a chair. For example, you will likely move your arms more being without an armrest, will engage your core more, and do small movements with the legs.
All of these will lessen the negative effect sitting has on your mobility.
Another reason is sitting on a yoga ball will likely inspire you to stretch more simply because it’s more challenging than a chair – and you’ll probably want to relieve some of that tension.
It will also encourage you to move more simply because it’s by your side, so you’ll likely want to try out some exercises.
9. Keeps The Muscles Active
Among all the benefits of sitting on a yoga ball, this one is most important as all others stem from it.
We naturally move more and activate our muscles more when sitting this way compared to a chair.
Not only do we need to keep the core active, but we also make more micro-movements which add up if we sit for long periods of time.
Disadvantages + How To Stay Safe
In the first part of the article, we offer 9 great benefits of sitting on a yoga ball. Maybe these inspired you to get your own yoga ball and throw your office chair away.
However, note that there are also some disadvantages of sitting in this manner.
The thing is, many of the benefits require you to stay aware and alert, engage your core and keep your spine erect. This is easier to do on a yoga ball, in the sense that we are more likely to slouch on an office chair.
However, if you already have a good posture on the chair, then the benefit won’t be as pronounced.
Furthermore, sitting on the yoga ball does encourage micro-movements and more muscle activation, but it also causes discomfort.
You are basically doing a small core exercise for the entire duration of your work, and since most of us don’t have the stamina for that, you may begin to compensate, and slouch like you would in the regular chair.
In this manner, sitting on a yoga ball can lead to lower back pain in the same way as sitting on a chair.
Having to be focused on your sitting, may have a negative effect on your work performance.
Furthermore, we need to have in mind the benefits of sitting on a yoga ball don’t mean it is good to sit all day.
In fact, the only way to mitigate the risks of sitting for long periods of time – is not to do it.
You still need to take breaks and avoid sitting for hours on end, and find other solutions, or at least an additional one.
How to Make The Most Of It?
Ok, so having both the benefits of sitting on a yoga ball in mind and the disadvantages, here are some tips on what to do after you get your yoga ball:
- Don’t completely throw out the office chair – keep it right next to your desk and switch between the two. Where a yoga ball encourages you to stay alert and active, a chair gives you support, so combining the two may make you sit properly the whole workday.
- You’ll need to build endurance – the reason why you should still keep the chair to your side is that sitting on the yoga ball is challenging, and you’ll need some time to build strength and endurance for it.
- Move more – sitting on the yoga ball all day won’t prevent the risks of prolonged sitting. Instead, make use of your new prop by incorporating more movement into your work routine. This is particularly true if you are working from home – you can allow yourself to take breaks and use the yoga ball for exercises.
- Check with your doctor – if you struggle with back pain or have any injuries in the back or spine, please check with a physician before replacing the office chair with a yoga ball – while it can help some conditions, it can aggravate others, so make sure you are doing the right thing for your body.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about the benefits of sitting on a yoga ball.
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