“Ball chairs” to back pain

Sitting is one of the most common activities people with lower back pain have problems with.  Sitting often causes back pain, AND it very often aggravates the pain too.

For the last year I’ve been using an Officino Ball Chair at work.  Prior to that, I was a big fan of the saddle chair (I still think they’re good, just not as good as the ball chair).  Why is the Ball Chair so good for people prone to back pain?  In fact, why is it good for all of us, whether we’re prone to back pain or not?

“Sitting is the new smoking”

If you haven’t read this before, I must be honest and admit I didn’t coin the phrase – though I wish I had.  The credit goes to Dr James Levine of the Mayo Clinic (Arizona).  He’s been studying the health effects of sitting for many years.  In short, sitting for hours in a day is worse for you than many hazardous activities.  In an interview with the Huffington Post he said “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

Sitting on a Ball Chair enables you to move while sitting.  Personally I sway my hips from side to side while sitting – I’m doing it while I type this.  And I assure you, it’s hardly affecting my typing speed or accuraccccy at all 😉  Sometimes I circle my hips around, and that slows the typing up a bit, particularly if I try to go anti-clockwise.  Somehow I get the impression this is also good for my brain – it’s a bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy; easy one way, but not the other.

The reason sitting is so bad for you – and the Ball Chair so good for you – is that inactivity causes your metabolism to slow way down, which in turn leads to all sorts of health risks.  Anyway, back to the Ball Chair…

Active sitting encourages good posture

If you try slumping on a Ball Chair there’s a good chance you’ll slide off the back of it – not cool.  The chair encourages you to hold yourself up to your full height, which puts your upper back, neck and arms into a healthier position, minimising the risk of problems in these areas too.  This “active sitting”, aside from the movement that it enables you to do, is better than passive sitting, which tends to lead to long periods in one position rather than the frequent adjustments that you make if you are holding yourself up.  Sitting still causes a sustained load on tissues (muscles, ligaments, bones, discs, tendons) in your body; sustained load is one of the recognised risk factors for lower back pain.

So, if you’d like to have a Ball Chair, just drop me an email.  I really recommend it – especially if you have back pain sitting or bending forwards. You can be the proud owner for the sum price of £215 – delivered to a place of your choosing.  Think how much you spend on a bed and mattress.  It’s an investment in your health, not just a chair.



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