Exercise ball "chair" for work desk....

  • Thread starter berkeman
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  • #1
berkeman
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Have there been any studies looking at the ergonomics of using an exercise ball as your work desk chair? I have a close friend with lower back and leg pain who is looking for ergonomics options. There are lots of studies about keyboard positions, etc.

EDIT -- She is also talking to her doctor about diagnosing the back/leg pain...

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/mix97-3.com/files/2013/04/84908998.jpg
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  • #2
Evo
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Every study I found was negative for the ball, even for use as little as 30 minutes a day.

CONCLUSIONS:
The small changes in biological responses when sitting on a stability ball as compared with an office chair, combined with the increased reported discomfort while on the ball, suggests its use for prolonged sitting may not be advantageous.

APPLICATION:
Prolonged sitting on a stability ball does not greatly alter the manner in which an individual sits, yet it appears to increase the level of discomfort. Therefore, it is important to fully explore a new chair design and consult scientific research before implementing its use.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16696264

METHODS:
Eight male subjects volunteered to sit for 30 min on an exercise ball and on a wooden stool. Muscle activity and spine position were used to model spine load and stability. An additional seven sat on an exercise ball and chair to examine pressure distribution over the contact area.

INTERPRETATION:
The results of this study suggest that prolonged sitting on a dynamic, unstable seat surface does not significantly affect the magnitudes of muscle activation, spine posture, spine loads or overall spine stability. Sitting on a ball appears to spread out the contact area possibly resulting in uncomfortable soft tissue compression perhaps explaining the reported discomfort.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16410033

CONCLUSIONS:
The small changes in biological responses when sitting on a stability ball as compared with an office chair, combined with the increased reported discomfort while on the ball, suggests its use for prolonged sitting may not be advantageous.

APPLICATION:
Prolonged sitting on a stability ball does not greatly alter the manner in which an individual sits, yet it appears to increase the level of discomfort. Therefore, it is important to fully explore a new chair design and consult scientific research before implementing its use.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16696264
 
  • #3
berkeman
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Beautiful, thank you Evo. I have one colleague at work who tries different ergonomic options, and tried out the exercise ball seat for a few months. He also said that he did not like it and did find any relief from it.
 
  • #4
Evo
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EDIT -- She is also talking to her doctor about diagnosing the back/leg pain...
Has she had an MRI of the lower spine, that's how they diagnosed a lot (not all) of my hip and leg pain.
 
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  • #5
berkeman
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Yeah, an MRI is on her request list when she talks to her new specialist tomorrow. Thanks Evo. :smile:
 
  • #6
Tom.G
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As a 72Yr old who has had increasing symptoms starting in my teen years, I've found that an office chair, preferably with adjustable arm rests, that has a tilt option for the back separate from seat tilt , works best for me. Arm rests are useful for partial upper body support when needed, for instance when using the mouse I can lean on one to relieve some spinal pressure.

A tip: If the back and leg pain is due to pinched nerves, in my experience when the pain pops up ignoring it and "working thru it" doesn't work. Do what is necessary to alleviate the pressure.

Best of Luck.
 
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  • #7
Fervent Freyja
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I know little about this method, it doesn't look very comfortable. I haven't worked in an office in many years. Back then, even in my early 20's, one idea of the sit-or-stand type of desk seemed appealing. Confined to a desk all day creates discomfort for all ages, even schoolchildren. I feel more energetic when standing and doing things myself. This allows the person to switch throughout the day and is shown to reduce pain and discomfort when used correctly!

A list of studies done for this method: http://www.juststand.org/ResearchandNews/tabid/636/language/en-US/Default.aspx
 
  • #8
Evo
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Yeah, an MRI is on her request list when she talks to her new specialist tomorrow. Thanks Evo. :smile:
Good luck to her berkeman, I have gone through hell and back with my problems. I also have aorta claudication, and so many things, I don't even know what to believe anymore. All I know is that I can only move for about 5 minutes then my muscles freeze up, then I fall to the floor and after a few minutes I can move again, then my muscles freeze up and I fall to the floor ..repeat...repeat...repeat.

At night I toss and turn constantly due to the pain. And this is just the spinal pain, not the pain that makes me suicidal. Luckily I have found some medications for that, that aren't even meant to treat pain, for the overwhelming breakthrough pain I have the oxycodone. but even that only works on "some" pain, not all. but I can get by with some daily pain as long as it is not suicidal pain.
 
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  • #9
Fervent Freyja
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Good luck to her berkeman, I have gone through hell and back with my problems. I also have aorta claudication, and so many things, I don't even know what to believe anymore. All I know is that I can only move for about 5 minutes then my muscles freeze up, then I fall to the floor and after a few minutes I can move again, then my muscles freeze up and I fall to the floor ..repeat...repeat...repeat.

At night I toss and turn constantly due to the pain. And this is just the spinal pain, not the pain that makes me suicidal. Luckily I have found some medications for that, that aren't even meant to treat pain, for the overwhelming breakthrough pain I have the oxycodone. but even that only works on "some" pain, not all. but I can get by with some daily pain as long as it is not suicidal pain.

Have you had Evoked Potentials testing done yet? It is used to diagnose for Multiple Sclerosis, Guillain-barre Syndrome, and other neurological/autoimmune conditions. What you are describing matches many of the symptoms associated! These are three tests that you very much want to have. Electrical currents are sent through the nervous system and it can measure where nerves may be damaged by the signals received back. Your peripheral artery disease will likely show up in those tests too!

I went with my mother last week for these tests, tomorrow we will go for results. They recently found lesions on her brain of missing white matter. This is a very scary situation. We don't get along well very often, she takes care of many, many other people in her home, but tries to guilt me into not being a good-enough daughter (as if I'm ever a good-enough anything already). So many hats to wear.

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/Diagnosing-Tools/Evoked-Potentials
 
  • #10
Evo
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Have you had Evoked Potentials testing done yet? It is used to diagnose for Multiple Sclerosis, Guillain-barre Syndrome, and other neurological/autoimmune conditions. What you are describing matches many of the symptoms associated! These are three tests that you very much want to have. Electrical currents are sent through the nervous system and it can measure where nerves may be damaged by the signals received back. Your peripheral artery disease will likely show up in those tests too!

I went with my mother last week for these tests, tomorrow we will go for results. They recently found lesions on her brain of missing white matter. This is a very scary situation. We don't get along well very often, she takes care of many, many other people in her home, but tries to guilt me into not being a good-enough daughter (as if I'm ever a good-enough anything already). So many hats to wear.

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/Diagnosing-Tools/Evoked-Potentials
I've had EMG and Peripheral artery disease, I have a book full of diagnoses. Then more that they haven't even dealt with yet.

My youngest is so ill that I don't care what I have I am so scared for her. I can't live without her.
 
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  • #11
Fervent Freyja
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I've had EMG and Peripheral artery disease, I have a book full of diagnoses. Then more that they haven't even dealt with yet.

My youngest is so ill that I don't care what I have I am so scared for her. I can't live without her.

But, you also need to worry about yourself in order to be there for her like you want! I really wish you were together. I believe both you two's health will improve dramatically with such a change! Maybe move to a green paradise somewhere together? :rainbow:
 
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