Having an exercise ball as your part-time chair at the office can do wonders for your core body and your posture. You can also use it to do wall squats and such. If you have any back issues check with your doctor before you try using a ball for you office chair.
It's very important to take it slow if you decide to give an exercise ball a try. Your body is working pretty hard to maintain your balance when you're sitting on an exercise ball. your abdominal muscles and back muscles are active trying to keep you upright. They can tire easily if you haven't been strengthening them a few times a week during regular strength training workouts so starting out very slowly is wise.
I wouldn't suggest sitting on the ball for your full 8 hours. That's too much of a good thing. You could very easily over tax your muscles and get injured. Getting 20 to 30 minutes a day on your ball is a better plan. Start with a few 5 minutes sessions and then work your way up to a few 10 minute sessions. Having a good ergonomic chair for your primary chair is a better idea than relying on the ball.
Getting the right size ball is crucial. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your thighs should slope downwards rather that at a 90 degree angle. If your desk is 29-30 inches and you're of average height and weight a 65cm ball should be a good fit. If you're under 5'3" a 55cm ball might be more appropriate. If you're over 6'3" a 75 cm ball may be a better size.
There is some controversy about using a ball as an office chair and for most people with back issues it's generally not a good idea but for healthy individuals using a ball in moderation it can be a very useful way to add some exercise to your work day.
Your fitness expert
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