For back pain relief, is it better to sit on an ergonomic office chair or a fitness ball?
Answer From Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
If long periods seated at a desk are giving you a sore back, your office chair may need adjusting to give you better back support — or you may even need a new chair designed to reduce back pain. Sitting on a fitness ball for office work is not recommended.
To stay upright on a fitness ball, you have to make constant, small adjustments in muscle tension and weight distribution. This effort helps you achieve the benefits of core-strengthening exercises performed with a fitness ball. Prolonged balancing on a fitness ball during a full day of work, however, may lead to increased fatigue and discomfort in your back.
May 11, 2021
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See more Expert Answers
- An ergonomic chair? National Institutes of Health. http://www.ors.od.nih.gov/sr/dohs/HealthAndSafety/Ergonomics/Pages/ergonomic_chair.aspx. Accessed Aug. 20, 2015.
- Kingma I, et al. Static and dynamic postural loadings during computer work in females: Sitting on an office chair versus sitting on an exercise ball. Human Factors. 2009;40:199.
- McGill SM, et al. Sitting on a chair or an exercise ball: Various perspectives to guide decision making. Clinical Biomechanics. 2006;21:353.
- U.S. Army Public Health Service. Frequently asked questions: Ergonomics. http://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/workplacehealth/ergo/Pages/FAQ.aspx. Accessed Aug. 20, 2015.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 20, 2015.