I am a huge advocate of combining exercise with other activities &mdash most of my fitness choices have a social component to them (run clubs, volleyball teams, climbing gyms) and I do a lot of my editing and revising in the dog park. So the idea of being able to tone my tummy while blogging was too much to resist. Hammacher's exercise ball chair looks like a little alien on legs, but can it really improve my posture and strengthen my core while I work?
I used to sit on a plain exercise ball, but I got sick of it rolling away every time I got up. (It's also only good for your posture if you sit on it the right way: it's just as easy to slouch or wiggle on an exercise ball as it is to activate your core muscles and sit straight.)
Hammacher's exercise ball chair comes packaged in a rectangular box &mdash you have to inflate the ball with the included hand pump and build it yourself which, in retrospect, wasn't all that bad. The key is to pump it just enough so that your knees bend at a perfect 90-degree angle. The chrome-plated steel feet screw into a plywood base that keeps the ball from plopping out from underneath your seat. The chair has a pretty light blue, red, or black mesh cover, which makes it look like a cool piece of furniture and not a gaudy desk chair.
I've been sitting on this thing for about a month now, and so far, I really like the way my back feels. I like that I can roll around a little bit on the chair without it giving out under me &mdash I can do slow pilates-style belly rolls while I type. Is it slouch-proof? No. But the fact that it feels the most stable when my feet are on the ground and my core is straight is incentive enough for me to stop sinking in my seat. My shoulders, however, are a totally separate issue. They still hurt like hell after hours in front of the computer screen. Does anyone know of a chair that alleviates shoulder pain?
Product page [Hammacher Schlemmer]