"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Goldilocks and the Three Balls

Meet my new office chair.

 It's sort of like a Hippity Hop for grown ups...and almost the same color as the one I had when I was five...

The idea came to me as a result of my body slowly turning to mush following weeks of sedentary writing and waxing poetic about flea markets. The truth is, the thighs and stomach didn't have far to go, but with muscle tone not unlike Jabba-the-Hut's I was starting to get nervous.

Enter Plan A: the exercise balance ball.

Before making a purchase and rushing headlong into what could only be a  fool-proof plan for abs of steel, I decided to do some Googling.

What I learned was that although there have been successful studies of folks finding relief from low back pain by using exercise balls as office chairs, evidence of the balls actually assisting in creating a stronger "core" is harder to come by. 

In addition, enthusiasts are warned it is not unheard of for people to accidentally fall off the ball; have a ball pop in a very undignified fashion beneath them; or result in what can only be described as a super-dorky appearance.

I was willing to take my chances.
The balls basically come in four sizes and are sold according to height. I read that when planning to use an exercise ball as an office chair, we work-out freaks should select one size down from the sizing recommendations. We should be able to plant our feet while sitting on top of the ball with knees at a 90 degree angle. Okay, perfect. Got it.

I ran over to Target, bought the "small" size and whipped home to inflate my new toy.

Using the hand pump, I inflated the ball and ran over to my desk to get started. My knees came up to my chest causing a bit of a wobble, and my eyes were sort of level with the base of my computer...Too small.

Not to be deterred, I ran (in the get-in-the-car-sense) back to Target, exchanged the ball and bought two more...a medium and a large...just in case.

By this time, the kids were home and they fought (enthusiastically debated) over who would get to blow up the medium ball. The teen won, and he quickly inflated the ball to gigantic proportions. It was huge.

Now, I had to strain to reach down to my keyboard, while my eyes looked at the top of the computer cabinet and my neck craned downward...Too big.

My quest had devolved into a cautionary tale of a flabby, modern-day, mid-life Goldilocks.

Back to the store. 

This time, I returned the "large" ball (we had decided to keep the medium) and I bought yet another size "small". The clerks were starting to look at me funny...

To the annoyance of his younger brother, I had the teen blow up the new ball. Instead of the mushy, under-inflated sphere I had created, his technique produced a much larger, and therefore, sittable result.

It worked! The ball was just right!

In a wonderful post on using exercise balls at your desk, writer Melanie Pinona blogged about the benefits on LifeHacker:
Negative reviews of the ball included users who were annoyed when they had to retrieve errant desk "chairs"; reported sore bums; headaches from over-bouncing while reading; and sticky situations sitting on plastic balls in the heat of summer. In addition, you may need to make adjustments to get your computer keyboard and screen in ergonomic alignment with the ball height.
Since I have been on the ball for only a few days at this point, I have not yet had the opportunity to experience all of the benefits. However, as far as a I'm concerned, so far, so good

 No six pack yet, but there's still time. Summer is coming...I'm bouncing.   

1 comment :

  1. It sounds great using exercise balls at the office. I definitely will try. I wanted to share a web page where you can go and find these balls. No need to go to the store. You can buy them online right from your office. Click here http://bit.ly/10YT7Tr and go to Rehab Equipment.


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