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How to Use a Stability Ball at Work.

Sitting on a stability ball can be a great way to prevent back pain. Unfortunately, done incorrectly or for too long and your good intentions could lead to some very poor results.

Chiropractor near me | Springfield Chiropractic Center

Have you heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”? There is mounting research now showing that prolonged sitting is not only bad for your back, but is linked to weight gain, poor cognitive function, diabetes, and cardio-vascular disease.

Commonly called “active sitting”, the concept behind using a stability ball (Swiss Ball) when sitting at your desk is really just a form of multi-tasking: exercise while working. The thought of actively engaging your core musculature while responding to that long list of e-mails seems like a great idea. And, it can be. You just have to follow a few rules when using this approach.

Chiropractic recommendations for using a stability ball.

Chiropractor near me | Springfield Chiropractic Center
  1. Do not use the ball if you are currently experiencing any back pain, sciatica, or other health issues that could be exacerbated by using your core. Also, if you have balance issues, do not use the ball without the guidance of your doctor.

  2. THE BALL IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR YOUR CHAIR. You will still need to have a good ergonomic chair for work.

  3. Start out using the ball, in a cradle, for 5 to 10 minutes and then move back to your regular chair. Although many sources recommend using the ball up to 30 minutes at a time, I feel this is too long. Depending on your level of fitness, building up to 15 or 20 minutes of use is enough. As you become more comfortable with the ball, you can use it without the cradle.

  4. Don’t just sit on it. The purpose of the ball is to ACTIVELY engage your muscles and spine. Always use good posture. Every so often, lightly bounce on the ball, slowly move your buttock back and forth or in a circular motion, and gently contract your abdominal muscles. Being careful not to fall off the ball, do these movements several times while seated.

  5. Use the ball 2 or 3 times over the course of your day.

  6. When sitting on the ball, you should be the same height as sitting in a properly fitted chair. If you need help setting up your computer workstation, please read my article: Relieve Neck and Shoulder Pain with Proper Ergonomics

Chiropractor near me | Springfield Chiropractic Center

In addition to using a stability ball, implementing a 5 minute "at work" exercise program is also a great way to keep your back healthy and feeling great. Check out my free STAY FIT WHILE YOU SIT program on the EXERCISES page of my website.

If you experience pain during or after using the ball, stop using it and consult your chiropractor.

For more information on proper size and use, visit

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Wishing you good health,

THIS SITE DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY MEDICAL ADVICE: Any information on this website is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease or prescribing any medication, vitamins, herbs, supplements or other treatment. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website. Information provided on this website DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and any healthcare provider affiliated with our website. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements available on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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