Having a ball in the office
September 14, 2011 8:03 AM   Subscribe

Is there an office chair that provides the same strengthening and stability as a medicine ball but would pass the office requirement for safety?

I have a degenerative disc and would like to sit on a medicine ball for strengthening purposes but have been told that I "may fall off" and cannot bring one into work. I have seen these stability ball chairs but I don't believe they would provide enough in the way of strengthening since they are too well supported.
Have you used something that has worked or know of a great alternative?
posted by mcarthey to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have not used it myself, so I can't comment on how it feels, but maybe the Swopper would work?
posted by LaurenIpsum at 8:22 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

My phsysiotherapist suggested I start using a half-inflated ball (like this one) on top of my normal office chair. It actually works pretty well. It's unstable enough that I do feel it at the end of the day and if I feel like I'd like to do something extra, I can do a few simple exercises rotating my hips throughout the day.
posted by brambory at 8:24 AM on September 14, 2011

I've started standing at work after sitting on a ball for a while. Like you I have degenerative discs and am (mostly) recovered from a ruptured disc.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:25 AM on September 14, 2011

kneeling chairs?
posted by bq at 8:39 AM on September 14, 2011

When I was in college, we had those Swoppers in the student center for a while. I loved them and I was sad that they disappeared (stolen, I suspect). They're super comfortable.
posted by pemberkins at 8:42 AM on September 14, 2011

Could you get a doctors note or one from a physical therapist recommending a medicine ball at work? Perhaps that would be enough to satisfy office requirements?
posted by zachlipton at 8:45 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I also recommend a Swopper.
posted by olecranon at 9:06 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nthing a Swopper, I love mine especially as my legs are too short to hold myself up on a desk height yoga ball.
posted by jamaro at 10:10 AM on September 14, 2011

Your safety folks are unlikely to approve the swopper. Can you get a desk with adjustable height, so that you could spend time standing?
posted by theora55 at 10:16 AM on September 14, 2011

Just wanted to pop in an clarify -
I believe you're looking for a Swiss Ball, which is inflated up to around twice the size of a beach ball.
A medicine ball can roughly be the size of a soccer ball to a little larger than a basketball, that is usually made of either leather or hard rubber. It can be inflated or filled with sand and can weigh upwards of several kilos.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:26 PM on September 14, 2011

What about using a half ball on top of a chair or stool?

It looks more stable than a regular ball, but still has the top half for you to balance on. We've got them at the gym where I go, but I confess I haven't used one and don't know if it will adequately substitute for a regular full-sized ball.
posted by librarylis at 6:48 PM on September 14, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks all for the Swopper recommendations. I believe I will check that out.

Also, yes, P.o.B., thanks for the correction. I know the difference and wasn't thinking clearly when I wrote the question. I'm glad everyone knew what I meant rather than what I said. :)
posted by mcarthey at 9:30 PM on September 14, 2011

Sit Fit. Recommended to me by a personal trainer. I don't know anything about discs, but I can say the Sit Fit's effect on my core muscles is comparable to that from sitting on my exercise ball.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:14 PM on September 14, 2011

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