What Size Exercise Ball for Sitting at Desk (Updated Guide)

Bad postures and pain come along with unusually long and hectic office hours. Your comfortable office chair sometimes becomes the culprit for your inappropriate postures and body pain. So, why don’t you think about exercise ball for sitting at desk?

But, why should you use an exercise ball for sitting at desk?

An exercise ball for desk works wonders when your regular bad postures have led you to immense body aches. Using an exercise ball for sitting at desk keeps your body active, especially your lower body. It requires your continuous energy to make adjustments since it is unstable.

To get your hands on what size exercise ball for sitting at desk you must use, its pros and cons; please keep reading our precise guide!

What Size Exercise Ball For Sitting At Desk
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What Size Exercise Ball for Sitting at Desk?

Office Exercise Ball

General Rule

Generally, it is best to buy a ball that is 4cm taller than the chair you are replacing; this is because the ball will deflate when you will sit on it.

But there are other factors to keep in mind before buying an exercise ball. We have mentioned these factors so that you can get proper balance and stability from an exercise ball.

Exercise balls available in the market have a height of 45cm, 55cm, 65cm, and 75cm sizes. The most commonly used ball is 65cm as it is suitable for people of heights between 5’9” to 6’2”.

To determine the most suitable size of an exercise ball for yourself, you should consider the following factors:

  • Get a measurement tape and measure your knee length from the floor. That should be the ideal height of the ball for you.
  • When you sit on the ball there should be a 90-degree angle between your hips and legs.
  • It is best to buy a ball that is slightly larger than the measurement you made and under-inflated to your ideal size.
  • For better summarization and your ease, we have made a chart that will help you select the best exercise ball size with your height
Your HeightBall Dimension
Less than 5 ft44-45 cm “XS”
5 ft 1 in – 5 ft 8 in53-55 cm “S”
5 ft 9 in – 6 ft 2 in63-65 cm “M”
6 ft 3 in – 6 ft 7 in74-75 cm “L”
Greater than 6 ft 8 in85 cm “XL”
  • When you sit on the exercise ball it deflates to an extent. Therefore purchasing an exercise ball that is slightly larger than your normal desk chair is best.
  • To achieve “active sitting” the best thing to be done will be to have a mixture of the desk chair, exercise ball, and walking during office hours.
  • Make sure to buy an exercise ball that is from a good brand and has qualities like anti-burst coating and slip surface.
  • Make sure that the ball is not very hard because it will become very difficult to sit on it for an hour or longer.
  • Also, make sure that the ball is large enough to cover your hips because this will help you achieve proper weight distribution and the proper angle between your leg and floor.

Exercise Ball For Office

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How to Properly Inflate an Exercise Ball?

Firstly you need to know the height of your ball when it is fully inflated. Following are steps we need to take to properly inflate the exercise ball:

  • Identify the height of your desk chair with the help of a measurement tape. Add 4 inches or 10 centimetres in that number and mark that height with a pencil on the wall.
  • Inflate the ball till it reaches the marked height. This will be the height of the exercise ball that will be suitable for you.
  • Make sure that the ball is not over-inflated because it can burst if it is more than the actual size.

Advantages of Using an Exercise Ball

In a 2012 research by Tamara M. Schult and other authors called “sitting on stability balls: Biomechanics evaluation in a workplace setting” they had found that there was increased energy, improvement in posture, and better balance among office workers who used exercise balls. Moreover in a 2017 research conducted by D. Clark Dickin called “Energy expenditure and muscular activation patterns through active sitting on the compliant surface”. The researchers monitored a body’s reaction on an exercise ball for ten minutes and found that lower body muscles were activated even though there wasn’t any core muscle engagement involved.

Using an exercise ball also encourages you to exercise more. It is a good warm-up before doing exercise like abs crunches since you will only have to roll back from your desk to do it. Having an exercise mat in the office would require the worker to properly leave the work to do the exercise.

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Missing Evidence on Usage of Exercise Ball

Despite the above-mentioned research that concludes using an exercise ball during work has benefits and has increased in popularity among people, some researchers have found little to no connection between an exercise ball and its claimed benefits. Some researchers conclude usage of an exercise ball is injurious for health.

No core activation

Researchers are divided on whether using an exercise ball is beneficial or not. While one research says that exercise ball causes an increase in core activation whereas another research concludes that exercise ball does not activate core muscles at all. And some other research concludes that there is no difference between an exercise chair and desk chair in regards to core activation.

Insignificant calories burn

According to a study conducted in 2015 called “Unstable sitting in the workplace – are there physical activity benefits?” by Brian D.Lowe and more, concludes that only a fractional amount of energy expends while using an exercise ball and it is not enough to counter the risk associated with sitting too long.

Increased pain

One research called “Sitting on stability balls: Biomechanics evaluation in a workplace setting” conducted by Tamara M. Schult and others warns against prolonged use of exercise ball as they have observed it causes some pain. Similarly, prolonged sitting on a normal desk chair can cause back pain. So we can summarize that prolonged usage of both desk chair and exercise ball is harmful.

Size Of An Exercise Ball

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If you want to get the most out of exercise ball and avoid any injury you should keep the following factors in mind.

Keep in mind the size of an exercise ball

It is better that your thighs are not at exactly a 90 degrees angle but rather slop a little downwards. Neither the height of the ball is so high for you that you have to balance yourself with your hands on the desk.

Create safe surroundings

If you are using an exercise ball for the first time then there are chances that you might fall, therefore, it would be best if you have a wall that will stop the ball from rolling or a mat to soften your fall.

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Using an exercise ball for sitting at a desk is good as it creates an activity for employees to do while working but it is recommended to only use the exercise ball for a short time during the day and not use it full time.

If you have any suggestions or queries, let us know below.

Exercise Ball Desk Chairs

1 thought on “What Size Exercise Ball for Sitting at Desk (Updated Guide)”

  1. Exercise balls are good but not recommended for office work because you can not sit on them for a longer period of time. Im using kneeling chair instead of it.

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