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How to Sit on an Exercise Ball at a Desk

author image Judy Bruen
Judy Bruen is a private certified personal trainer and wellness coach. She holds dual master's degrees from Boston College in clinical social work and pastoral ministry. She currently works with individuals on fitness, health and lifestyle goals.
How to Sit on an Exercise Ball at a Desk
A woman sitting on an exercise ball. Photo Credit: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Prolonged periods of sitting may contribute to back pain and tight muscles in your neck and shoulders. Replacing your office chair with an exercise ball may reduce back pain and improve your posture while building core strength. Exercise balls allow more freedom of movement than chairs and sitting on one at work may prevent stiffness associated with sitting in a constrained position. Determining which ball size fits your height and learning the correct way to sit on it ensures that the exercise ball is a comfortable and beneficial addition to your office.

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Step 1

Buy the right size ball for your height. Generally, if you're 5 feet, 1 inch to 5 feet, 7 inches tall, buy a 22 inch ball. If you're 5 feet, 8 inches to 6 feet, 2 inches, then you'll need a 26 inch ball. Over 6 feet, and you'll need a 30 inch ball.

Step 2

Inflate the ball until you can sit on it with your feet resting flat on the floor and your legs at a 90-degree angle to the floor.

Step 3

Tighten your abdominal muscles and straighten your back. Relax your shoulders and place your hands on your desk. In the correct position, your arms will form a 90-degree angle. If you are sitting on the correct size ball and your elbows don't rest on the desk, you may need to adjust your desk height. Incorrect arm positioning while sitting on the ball at your desk may cause shoulder and arm pain.

Step 4

Widen your feet to increase your stability while sitting on the ball. Move your feet closer to challenge your balance and core muscles.

Step 5

Adjust your computer screen or monitor to eye level to prevent neck or shoulder strain while you read and sit on the ball.

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