Healthy Computing: 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


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

Copyright 2003 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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Written by Katherine HughesGibney

Explore Wellness in 2021