Good posture in the workplace, particularly in an office setting, is nearly non-existent. Similarly, finding the time to work out or strengthen your core is almost impossible with a 9 to 5 office job. To combat this, many offices and office workers are choosing to turn to exercise ball chairs instead of the typical office chairs to encourage good posture and to strengthen their core muscles.
Maybe you cannot replace your typical desk chair in your office building, but you can certainly invest in yoga ball chairs for your home space. Fitness ball chairs are incredibly popular, and they do wonders for slumping posture and back pain. There are many types and sizes available, and it is important to find the right balance ball chair for your home or office and your needs.
What Is an Exercise Ball Chair & Why Is It Better for You?
Exercise balls – also referred to as yoga balls, fitness balls, and more – are large, inflated spheres made of plastic that are traditionally used for fitness exercises or physical therapy assistance. However, in seeing the benefits of these balls, it became apparent that they had uses beyond working out.
When we sit in the average desk chair, it is what is called passive sitting. We are not really engaging our bodies in any way, which can be harmful to the body in the long run. If we do not engage our muscles for hours at a time, they can become weak, and we can develop cramps or other, more serious complications. While sitting at a desk cannot be avoided with office jobs, there are ways to evade passive sitting.
When you are seated on an isokinetics ball chair, your body is active. You have to engage muscles in your core and your back in order to stay seated and balanced, and because of the nature of the ball, it is impossible to remain entirely motionless. So, while you are focused on your work, your body focuses on proper posture and staying balanced. Essentially, you can get the toning you need and work on posture without causing disruption to your normal flow and productivity. It is a great solution to a very common problem with workers.
Fitness Ball Chair Comparison Table
We review each of the following chairs in detail below, but for those of you in a hurry here are the items in our roundup:
What Makes a Good Fitness Ball & Why Is It Important?
What makes one of these good for you depends on your needs. They come in a wide variety of sizes, dimensions, textures, and colors. You want something that will be ideal for sitting at your desk – nothing that makes you too short to reach the keys or leaves you towering over the desk. You want something that will not lose air easily and will be comfortable for you to sit on throughout your work session. Finally, you want something within your budget and something that fits your ideal look.
With all of that said, there are tons of fitness balls out there to choose from. Where should you start? Luckily, we narrowed down your selection to the top five exercise balls of 2018, based on various characteristics such as dimension, price, and accessories.
Best Exercise Ball Chairs
This energy “ball” chair is far more chair than ball, and it makes a perfect and unobtrusive fit for any office space, which is why it is number one on our list. It comes in a variety of colors, including green, blue, black, red, gray, and more. With their selection, you will be able to find the perfect fit for your work station and your home office.
With four powder coated legs and a rounded ball top to mimic a true exercise ball, this chair is great for anyone looking to engage in active seating without the hassle of an actual fitness ball accidentally rolling out from under you. It encourages good posture, as they are design to do, and can easily hold up to 250 pounds, so it is great for people of various sizes. It is also relatively compact and is designed to snugly fit under desks when not in use.
This sleek, stylish, and secure option is a bit more expensive than other yoga ball chairs, but it is a worthwhile investment.
- Four sturdy legs for extra security
- An actual “chair” that mimics the ball, rather than a ball itself
- Can hold up to 250 pounds
- Available in a variety of colors
- Low profile and compact
This particular chair is a hybrid model, which makes it especially popular and versatile, putting it at number two on the list. The chair, when fully assembled, also features a back bar for lumbar support, which many other models do not have. This can be a pro or a con depending on who you ask, but it is a handy feature for many.
While it can function solely as an exercise ball chair, the good thing about the Gaiam Classic is that you can remove the ball to be used as a fitness ball all by itself. If you have some time to stretch between work sessions, you can just pop the exercise ball out of its hold. That way, you can take a quick break or make your lunch hour more productive by performing various exercises. There are plenty of ball chair stretches to work out the kinks in your muscles and joints from sitting for so long.
This hybrid chair is available in a variety of colors, from black to blue to pink and many more in between. It is also one of the more affordable options, considering the features.
- Very versatile – can be used as a ball chair or just as a ball
- Provides lumbar support
- Comes in many colors
- Can hold up to 300 pounds
This chair shares some common features with the Gaiam Classic, but with some slight modifications. This model also features a bar for back support, but this one resembles a chair more than the Gaiam. Also like its competitor, the ball can be removed from the chair frame to be used for stretching and exercises during down time, which is a great option.
This chair is only available in a sleek black, which will fit right in with most office spaces. It boasts a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds, and it is best suited for individuals between the heights of 5 foot 5 inches to 5 foot 11 inches. The ball itself is 52 centimeters, and the back bar can be adjusted for comfort.
The main complaint about this model is that the back support feels a bit flimsy or unsupportive, but not relying on the back support encourages better posture, anyway.
- Versatile – both a chair and a ball
- Weight capacity of 300 pounds
- Adjustable back support
- Relatively affordable
This yoga ball chair features a metal frame, which is different from its counterparts. Most exercise ball chairs favor plastic. The metal bar provides excellent lumbar support, encouraging good forward posture without forcing you to keep yourself upright constantly. The other great thing about this chair in particular is the ability to adjust the lumbar support height.
This ball chair is a bit more expensive, but it is also available in a variety of colors. Consequently, these colors differ in price. Also, the wheels are slightly larger on this model than on others to create a smoother movement. It also has five wheels rather than only four, for extra movement and support. It is available in an all-black or black and silver finish for the frame.
The vinyl material of the ball can be a disadvantage for this particular chair, but overall, it is a great choice.
- 4 height settings and 4 back support settings
- Extra, larger wheels for more movement and stability
- Different colors and finishes available
- Solid lumbar support
Unlike its family member mentioned before, the Gaiam Stool is simply a stool with a top similar in design to a fitness ball. This option is fun, unique, and stylish; it’s a very appealing choice for many people. It is also less obtrusive than a full chair, lacking the lumbar support that the other models have. It is a much more compact design, perfect for smaller spaces.
With an adjustable height and five wheels for stable movement, this is a great choice for offices and classrooms alike. It also features 360-degree swivel, like any office stool should, but with the added bonus of better posture and strengthening your core. What it lacks in versatility, it makes up for in style.
- Smaller and compact
- Adjustable height
- Great for offices and classrooms
- 360-degree swivel
- Available in black or granite
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of wonderful exercise ball chairs to choose from. You want something that suits your needs and style, and the list above is the perfect place to start on your journey to pain relief and better posture.
If you’ve never considered using an exercise ball chair as an office chair before, here is a helpful YouTube video that explains how to do it: