Should You Use An Exercise Ball At Work As An Office Chair
Having an exercise ball as an option for your office is great, but it should not replace an office chair. The science shows that the negatives outweigh the benefits when it comes to regularly using an exercise ball as an office chair.
While sitting on an exercise ball is great for mobility and can help strengthen your back and core, an ergonomic office chair provides unmatched lumbar support that you cannot replicate on an exercise ball.
The bottom line is that while exercise balls can help with back pain, they should not be a replacement for a well-designed ergonomic chair.
I Have Lower Back Pain Should I Seat On A Stability Ball At The Office
With the increasing number of people working in an office nowadays, its more and more frequent to hear people complaining of a sore or tight back. In our practice, were often asked by people if sitting on a stability ball would help their back pain.
What causes lower back pain?
Our lumbar spine is a group of pilled bones with intervertebral discs in between them, which are stabilised in a correct position by teamwork from some abdominal, back and pelvic muscles. These muscles have to work in synchronicity to achieve this goal, however, maintained sitting postures at the computer will lead to fatigue of some of these muscles leading to poor posture, which is less tiring for them, but bad for the health of the structures they are meant to stabilise. This is one of the reasons why sitting for long periods can lead to lower back pain.
Idea behind using a gym ball
The principle of sitting on a gym ball is that, by sitting on an unstable surface that keeps varying the gravity line of our centers of mass, we need to dynamically activate our core muscles in a more comprehensive way and, in some way, training them and getting them stronger.
Good, right? Well, not so fast..
Looking at the research done some years back, some articles suggested that there is no change in the activation of the abdominal muscles by sitting on a gym ball instead of an office chair. Some of them even show that this behavior was associated with discomfort1-7.
Does it help improve lower back pain?
How Can I Reduce Back Pain While Sitting
I advise people to sit in a proper desk office chair with good support and good ergonomics , says Dr. Marko. If you can use a standing or walking desk, even better.
Dr. Marko emphasizes the importance of is doing hip flexor stretches. When you’re sitting in a chair for so long, your hip flexors are in the short end position and they become tight this. Thus, stretching will help open up your hips, helps your back feel better. The hip flexors actually attach to your spine, so when they are tight, they pull on your spine and cause your pelvis to rotate forward. Ask your healthcare provider or physical therapist for some good hip flexor stretching exercises with instructions on how to properly perform them so you dont hurt your back or neck.
Low lunge, high lunge, or yoga’s warrior I pose all stretch the hip flexors.
No matter where you choose to place your bum, prolonged periods of sitting may lead to poor posture and body mechanics, reduced lung capacity, and even blot clots in extreme cases. Take small walks as often as possible and stretch. Use the stairs. Just keep moving, and when you have to sit, pay attention to posture and correct it when you find yourself slouching .
If you have back pain, be sure to contact your physician first before starting any new exercises or stretches, as you could be at risk for further back injury depending on the source of your pain.
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Build Up Your Core Strength
Core strength refers to the bodys ability to position and move the torso and control the transmission of forces between the upper and lower extremities.2 An exercise ball workout helps activate muscle and nerve mechanisms in your abdomen and back. In turn, there is reduced stiffness, lesser fatigue, and improved strength in these muscle groups.3
Exercise Machines To Avoid If You Have Recurring Back Pain
A lying leg press, while meant to work your legs, puts added stress on your back because the machine forces you to flex your lower spine. The added strain increases the risk of developing a herniated disc. The squeezing action associated with hip abductors can result in back-related muscle pain and weakness from the added strain on the spine and its supporting muscles.
The added weight that a loaded standing calf raise machine puts on your shoulders continues to your spine, which negates any benefits you may be getting from more challenging calf raises.
If youre not sure which exercise or gym equipment is best for you, a physical therapist or personal trainer can provide more personalized input. While some muscle soreness is normal following a workout, any persistent back, neck, leg or shoulder pain should be evaluated by a board-certified spine surgeon.
Adjusting your exercise routine is often one of the first recommendations spine physicians make to patients experiencing chronic back pain. However, if conservative methods arent providing enough relief, it might be time to consult a spine surgeon in Los Angeles. To request an in-person consultation with Dr. Bae, Medical Director at The Spine Institute in Los Angeles, call 828-7757 and take the first step to living a more comfortable life.
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/5these Are Super Easy Exercises
Back pain is one of the most common health issues among adults – and our lifestyle is to be blamed. We all sit in one place for the entire day and have minimum physical movements. Whether at office or home, we sit for quite a long time at the same place and in the same position, which eventually leads to mild ache in the lower back.
Exercising is the easiest way to get relief from nasty back pain. There are several exercises you can perform using different types of equipment. But today in this article, we will share some easy ones that you can do with an exercise ball.
An exercise ball can be used for strengthening the core, improving stability and toning arms. Not even this, it is an excellent stretching equipment and can help reverse damage caused by sitting at desk all day. Here are 4 easy moves that you can perform even at your home when suffering from a lower back issue.
Support Your Spine With Workouts For Back Pain
You need to take care of the core muscles that support your spine. There are many workouts for back pain that do this, and your doctor or therapist should be able to give you specific advice and training for your unique back pain condition.
“A good example of a safe strengthening exercise is the pelvic tilt,” says Mepham. To do this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent. Tighten your stomach muscles until you can press the small of your back flat against the floor. Hold the press for about five seconds and repeat up to 10 times.
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Lower Back Pain: How Exercise Helps
You may feel like resting, but moving is good for your back. Exercises for lower back pain can strengthen back, stomach, and leg muscles. They help support your spine, relieving back pain. Always ask your health care professional before doing any exercise for back pain. Depending on the cause and intensity of your pain, some exercises may not be recommended and can be harmful.
Elliptical Trainer Vs Treadmill
Jogging on a treadmill isnt considered a low-impact activity, so if you have back pain an elliptical trainer is a better option. Treadmills also tend to produce jarring movement that puts stress on your lower back along with your hip, knee and ankle jointsalthough some of the more advanced treadmills have adjustments that can reduce impact. However, incline and resistance settings on elliptical machines tend to give you more control of your experience.
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Make Exercise Ball Workouts A Part Of Your Daily Routine
One of the simplest ways to incorporate an exercise ball workout into your routine is just to practice sitting on it. Sitting on the ball activates the core muscles required to maintain balance. If you are having trouble balancing, deflate the ball a little for added stability. If your balance feels good, try replacing your office chair with an exercise ball or sitting on the ball while watching television. Focus on sitting erect with your head and chest up and spine comfortably straight, while keeping your shoulders pulled back and slightly down .
Once you feel comfortable on the ball, more advanced exercises, such as wall squats using the exercise ball can be tried, or some of the previously mentioned exercises.
See how to perform Wall Squats on Sports-health.com.
As with any exercise program, it is essential to consult your doctor or a licensed physical therapist before beginning the workout. Many exercise balls may come with their own set of exercises attempting an advanced move before you are ready can lead to injury. A trained professional can give you a list of exercises tailored to your specific need and can show you how to use the exercise ball properly.
Try: Some Pilates Moves
Pilates combines stretching, strengthening, and core abdominal exercises. Under the instruction of an experienced teacher, it may help some people with back pain. Be sure to tell your teacher about your back pain, because you may need to skip some moves. For further reading, here are more back exercises for women.
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/5rotate In A Circular Motion
This move is excellent for your hips as it stretches both the paraspinal muscles in the back and the hip. It is important to maintain your stability while performing this exercise.
Directions: Sit on top of the exercise ball with your feet placed firmly on the ground and your hands on your hips. Keeping your spine straight, rotate as long as you can in one direction. Pause for a few seconds in the end before rotating in the opposite direction.
Using An Exercise Ball To Rehab Your Back
Low back injuries often restrict movement and may lead to the weakening of your lower back muscles.
Exercise balls are a great option for a gentle back mobility and core-strengthening program that can stabilize the muscles surrounding your spine, improve motion and help prevent future injury.
Doing crunches on an exercise ball helps strengthen and develop core body muscles that stabilize the spine. See:Exercise Ball Therapy for Lower Back Pain Relief
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Low Back Flexibility On Exercise Ball
1) Forward and backward rocking on gym ball
The first exercise in the list of swiss ball exercises for back pain we have forward-backwards rocking. So to do this exercise sit straight on the ball maintain the angle of the hip 90 degrees, keep both hands by the side of the waist. Now, rock the hip forward and backwards. protect the back its it should be a smooth movement and carried by your hand.
Repeat it 20 to 30 times in a single session.
2) Sideways rocking exercises on pilate ball
The starting position for this exercise will be the same as the previous exercise. Sit straight on the ball maintain the hip joint to a 90° angle, now rock your pelvic sideways smoothly. Rock it gently from left side to the right, from right to left. This exercise will help improve the flexibility of the low back and prevent stiffness.
Tilt the pelvic to both the right and left side repeat it 20 to 30 times in a single session.
Improve Your Spinal Endurance
Stiffness of the muscles that brace your spine may reduce the stability of your spinal joints, which may cause your spine to buckle under heavy loads. Spinal stiffness in the core muscles and the associated spinal joints can also significantly limit spinal mobility. Exercise ball workouts help relieve muscle stiffness and improve spinal strength and endurancepreventing the spine from giving out when subject to sudden movements or stresses.3
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Stretching On The Ball
Back Stretch With Exercise Ball #2 The Plank
The Plank on Forearms exercise is one of the most effective exercises to build a lean, well-muscled body with great abs. It is a very challenging exercise for all the muscles involved: from the head to the tips of the toes, as well as the shoulders, the spine, the butt and the thighs, you want to stay straight and tight like a plank.
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The Real Answer Is Simply That We Need To Sit Less Overall
Instead of debating over what were sitting on, we really need to think about how we can sit less overall. Prolonged sitting can contribute to muscle imbalances of loss of normal motion in the joints of the low back, pelvis and hips. These joints are designed to move and be upright so minimizing your time sitting is your best bet.
Should You Use An Exercise Ball To Help Back Pain During Pregnancy
Using an exercise ball during pregnancy helps take weight off your lower back. These are also called birthing balls, although they look identical.
The woman leans over the ball and uses it as support, which relieves some pressure off her back and pelvis. This is particularly useful during labor, when intense feelings of pain and pressure take over. In some cases, using a birthing ball can even shorten labor times.
Just make sure the ball is the correct size for your body. Using one thats too big or too small may lead to discomfort.
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What Is Spinal Decompression
Spinal decompression is a very gentle distraction of the spine that allows for improved blood flow and helps nutrients move to the injured part of the spine. Spinal decompression is often chosen by individuals experiencing severe lower back pain as an alternative to surgery or pain meds, and it has a high success rate for the reduction of back and neck pain.
Many people love the experience of spinal decompression and wonder if they can do a version of it themselves at home with their exercise ball. While there is no replacement for professional spinal decompression administered by a chiropractor, there are certain exercises that can help stretch and relieve tension in your back in between your chiropractic appointments.
Spine Exercises With Swiss Ball
1. Pelvic Isolation
This is a category of exercise that focuses on spine by moving on your pelvic gland. This exercise is very beneficial for your vertebras present in the lower spinal cord and disc. It can be divided into 3 exercises depending on the movement of the exercise.
Back and forth rocking
- In this exercise sit on the exercise ball and keep your arms on your hips.
- Not slowly pull your pelvic muscle forward this will tighten your stomach muscles
- Then gradually move backwards targeting on your back
- Create a small arc with your back in the movement on exercise ball
- When you return to comfortable position, start doing it again slightly fast
- Repeat it for 10 times.
Side to side rocking
In this exercise you need to sit in similar position. The only change would be in the movement of the exercise ball. In side to side rocking, you need to move yourself on either side of the body and then return to initial position.
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2. Spine Rotation
Spine rotation of exercise ball helps to improve your middle spinal cord area by stretching it on both the sides with help on an exercise ball. It will help you keep your spine straight and prevent problems that usually occur to older people in their back.
3. Mobility spine exercise
For this exercise-
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4. Bridge Exercise
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