What is an Ergonomic Ball Chair?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 February 2020
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An ergonomic ball chair is an interesting type of office chair that combines the standard features of a desk chair, such as rolling wheels, with the sitting benefits of using an inflatable ball. Doctors often recommend that people who have back problems use a large inflatable exercise ball for sitting. This may not be totally practical for the office and the ergonomic ball chair is one answer to the issue.

Most of these chairs have two parts, the inflatable ball and a frame that has wheels into which the ball fits. Most chairs also feature a back and have arm rests. The back might not be used much if people are seated on the ball properly. The chairs also normally come with a hand pump so that the ball can be inflated as needed, which might be required on a fairly regular basis.

Having the ball section off the floor can provide a little additional stability and most ergonomic ball chair types are suitable for any weights and are height adjustable. This can make a huge difference in offices where desks are at varied heights and may not suitable to ball sitting. Once people are used to balancing on the ball, they tend to be able to make full use of the chair’s wheels to move the chair back and forth as needed.


Two main types of ergonomic ball chairs exist. One has an egg shaped ball and may be dubbed the Swiss egg chair. Other chairs feature fully round ball.

Both types of balls may take a little adjustment. When people are used to sitting on exercise balls, they may easily shift from a ball to a ball chair. Others might need to practice in order to keep their balance. Some suggestions are that people remove the ball from the chair at first to practice sitting on it prior to trying the fully assembled ergonomic ball chair.

Exercise balls and the ergonomic ball chair provide what is called active seating. This means that the body cannot slump in the chair. Instead, in order to keep balance, people must concentrate on keeping the spine aligned and utilizing core muscles. This consciousness helps to maintain proper posture and may be of significant benefit to people who must sit for long periods of time or who have back trouble that makes sitting uncomfortable.

Some people don’t want to give up their exercise balls for the ergonomic ball chair because they find they’re perfectly suitable and about half the price. The main disadvantage with using a ball is that people might end up sitting on a surface that has been in contact with the floor. When keeping office clothing neat and clean, this may not always be desirable.


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