Sharon DeVellis: Inside Scoop


Do You Have the Balls for this New Year’s Resolution?

Switching From An Office Chair To An Exercise Ball

Switching From An Office Chair To An Exercise Ball

I’m an active person who exercises five to six days a week. I irritate my kids by parking at the furthest parking spot when we go shopping, and we often work out together as a family. Yet I still spend about five hours a day in front of a computer screen. Add that to the time I spend sitting in an arena, sitting while I shuttle kids to activities, and sitting to watch television or read in the evening and I was turning into someone who had a greater risk of an early death.

Dear Parents: Sitting Still Is Killing Our Kids

I can’t not sit in front of a computer because it’s my bread and butter….Mmmmm…..butter. So I did some research on ditching my office chair for an exercise ball. While the experts are still undecided about the benefits, I decided to give it a go. More core engagement can’t be a bad thing, right?

It’s now been a month and here’s what I learned:

Commit to the Balls

I had my husband take my office chair down to the basement so I couldn’t switch back when the going got tough because I know myself and if that chair had been there my ball would have been bounced out the door. This brings me to point #2:

The Going Definitely Gets Tough

By about day 3 this was me:

After years of slouching in my very comfortable chair, my mid-upper back was a knot of pain–Tylenol and Icy Heat were my best friends. Had my very, very heavy and awkward to carry chair not been in the basement I would have switched back to my old slouchy habits in a nano-second.

There’s a Good Side to Being that Sore

My sore back made me get up and move around more. I began to take more breaks throughout the day and started walking back and forth in my living room and kitchen during my weekly Skype meetings. Yo! More movement = less death.

Grab A Pillow and a Foot Stool

Sitting on a rubber ball was good for my posture but terrible for my ass, as in my bum was quite sore at the end of the day. Now I sit on a pillow balanced on the ball. It’s all very Cirque Du Soleil around here.

Also, a foot stool helps keep your knees level with your hips which promotes good posture. My foot stool is actually a box, so don’t feel the need to go out and buy something fancy.

Make Adjustments

You’re going to need to adjust your keyboard to accommodate your new ball – DO THIS. It took me about five days to get my keyboard in the right place but it made all the difference.

The Pain Eventually Goes Away

It took about two weeks–two very sore weeks–for my back to adjust to, you know, using muscles again. But it did eventually go away, you just have to tough it out.

Oh, and bonus points for the three pounds I dropped since making the switch.