Does an Exercise Ball Make a Good Chair?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2019
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In a word, the answer to this question is no. An exercise ball is ideal for its intended purpose, but the exercise ball was not designed to be used as a chair. Though you can sit on an exercise ball, activities that require sitting such as writing, eating, using the computer, and so forth require back support and an exercise ball is not ergonomically designed to offer that support.

For yoga, Pilates, and other forms of exercise that employ the use of an exercise ball, the ball is well designed. There are a variety of exercises and stretches that can be done with an exercise ball. However, an exercise ball does not double as a suitable chair. Tasks that require sitting, especially for long periods of time, require the proper lumbar support to promote back, neck, and leg health.

You should not substitute an exercise ball as a task chair. Even for kids, most of who are tempted by any ball, an exercise ball makes a poor substitution for a chair. Kids may be tempted to use an exercise ball as a chair for watching television or playing video games, but it isn’t designed for such use. If, however, your kids will actually use the ball for any form of exercise while watching television, you might allow it from time to time.


One of the reasons many people are tempted to use an exercise ball as a chair is because of its cumbersome presence. If you use a ball in a family room or den for periodic exercise, it can be all too easy to simply roll it over to a desk or table for other uses.

If you use your exercise ball as a chair frequently and for extended periods of time, you may be defeating the purpose of your exercise routine by encouraging poor back and neck health. Instead, try using a folding chair or small task chair on wheels in the room. This will provide you with a place to sit and alleviate the temptation to use the ball instead, while still giving you flexibility and storage options when no chair is needed.


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Post 5

I disagree completely with the advice on this page. I have used a gaiam ball chair for the past 1 1/2 years and used a ball for five years prior to that,at the office full-time. Both of these options provide back pain relief and better posture. I feel energized and alert compared to sitting in a normal chair, which I do about 10 percent or less of the time when I feel tired.

Post 3

Are you kidding? Do more research. Using the ball as a chair is an amazing way to get better back strength, circulation, and stability. Please do your research before advising people on things!

Post 2

Perhaps an exercise ball does not meet the norms of an office chair, but I sit in an expensive ergonomic chair 8 plus hours a day. My back hurt so bad it became difficult to get out of bed.

I have been using my exercise ball as a chair for 3 weeks.

No more back pain, firmer stomach.

If I get tired of the ball, I just move back to the chair, but the ball gets 90 plus % of my use.

With back pain the serious problem that it is in this country, and for most people there is no help, maybe this is another area " the Experts " don't know what they are talking about.

Post 1

Interestingly enough exercise ball, also known as yoga ball, fitness ball, or a stability ball, is quite a good exercise equipment. It helps build muscles since you have to keep balancing yourself so a number of muscle groups have to work.

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