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Healthy Computing Tip 410: Have a Ball

Do you feel antsy after sitting in your chair for a few hours and begin to squirm? Do you wish that you could replace your chair but don't have the budget?  Do you ache to inject more movement in your workday? The desire to be more mobile is the body's way of reminding us that it is healthy to move.  Often we remain static, focusing on our work, forgetting to take our breaks. To have ease of movement, set aside that stuffy old chair and have a ball.

How to Have a Ball:

Purchase a stability ball that is large enough for you to use instead of your chair and alternate sitting on the ball with sitting in your chair every thirty minutes.

The appropriate ball diameter depends upon your individual height, as well as keyboard and desk height. Many toy and exercise stores as well as ergonomic suppliers have sturdy stability BURST RESISTANT balls of varying sizes that are fun and healthful to sit on while working at the computer. The cost ranges from $25 to $40. Inflate the ball so that it is soft and comfortable to sit on. When you sit on the ball, let your hips be slightly higher than your knees (the angle of your hip is about 100 - 110 degrees).

Ball sizes may need to be increased or decreased depending upon how much you inflate the ball and how you are sitting in relation to the keyboard.  Explore the following guidelines for ball sizes.

  • If you are over 6'3" and have long legs use a 75 cm diameter ball

  • If you are between 5'2" and 6'2" use a 65 cm diameter ball

  • If you are less than 5'2" use a fully inflated 55 cm diameter ball or a partially inflated 65 cm diameter ball

Enjoy bouncing, wiggling and rocking on the ball and keep track of your ball as co-workers may roll away with it. Even though you may suspect that your coworkers think that you are crazy, they will almost all want to use it.

The Institute for Holistic Healing Studies and Human Resources sponsor the distribution of Healthy Computing Email Tips. Copyright 2009 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney. Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders.
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