Using a stability ball as an office chair strengthens core muscles, similar to the use of a backless chair or stool; the freedom of movement from a stability ball also may decrease confined or constrained body postures that frequently occur at workstations.
Additionally, a study by Indiana University ergonomics experts found that reaching with the nondominant hand results in different firing patterns in leg musculature compared to reaching with the dominant hand.
“It’s a learning effect. When you use your dominant hand, your firing patterns are more established, even in the lower body, to stabilize the movement. Interestingly, when reaching with the nondominant hand, muscle recruitment appears to be different,” said Kelly Jo Baute, a researcher in the Indiana Ergonomics lab in Indiana University’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
Baute and her colleagues at Indiana Ergonomics investigated the effects that performing a common reaching task had on muscle activity in the legs while sitting on a stability ball. They found that the greatest muscle activity was located in the anterior tibialis (shin muscle) which acted in coordination with the hamstrings muscles to provide a stable foundation during the reaching movements.
Some people are using the gym ball to replace the office chair and others are sitting on it at home, which has created some controversy among therapists, researchers, ergonomics experts and the general public. The controversy is due in part to a lack of knowledge and experience with this application for the gym ball. Both patients in this report were suffering with low back pain, and both improved when they began consistently using the gym ball. There are two reasons for case presentations, to document a treatment of a condition and to promote discussion that may lead to research. This presentation will hopefully accomplish this. – nih
The stability ball has many functions. It can help to facilitate the neuromuscular system, increase core strength, balance, and posture. Most commonly, it is used as a bench during exercise but it can also be used while sitting at a desk or watching TV. By doing so you receive the benefits of both better posture, core strength, and endurance without putting much thought into it. You will also increase your total caloric expenditure at rest.
Other benefits of sitting on the ball include:
- It creates attention and opens channels for the perception of oneâ€™s own sensation.
- It allows active-dynamic, and therefore, mobile sitting.
- It is the ideal training apparatus for the improvement of the endurance of sitting and postural muscles.
- As a dynamic balance apparatus, it improves sensory perception, especially of changes in gravity or rather changes in the center of gravity. It acts as a stimulus for regulation of posture.
- It allows, through active pumping mechanism an alternate loading and unloading of disks, which is of great importance for the nutrition and proper functioning of the diskâ€™s tissue.
- It improves, via improved blood circulation the effectiveness of all the organ systems, especially the brain, which undoubtedly is of interest to teachers.