June 19, 2021   10:15am

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Trading your Desk Chair for an Exercise Ball

Back an April we ran across the article, “Sitting All Day: Worse For You Than You Might Think,” on NPR.org. Not cause for immediate alarm since the health risks of having sedentary jobs is pretty obvious and almost certainly trumped by our regular exercise regimen… until we realized it wasn’t.

“…Researchers are beginning to suspect that even if you engage in regular exercise daily, it may not be enough to counteract the effects of too much sitting during the rest of the day,” according to the article. Not only that, but researchers found in one study that men who spent more time sitting were substantially more likely to die from heart disease than their counterparts. Which got us thinking… we sit all day at work.

NPR gives a few tips on how to combat a sedentary work life that doesn’t require you quitting your desk job. Of them, take mini-breaks during the day to break up the long periods of sitting, march in place, get a glass of water, take a walk, anything. Do this every hour for at least a few minutes. We’ve found that this one tobe a little hard to do, especially when you get sucked into your work and aren’t spending your time checking the clock for a mini-march (which is also slightly awkward).

A recommended tip that we did try? Sitting on an exercise ball at work to “strengthen the core while improving balance and flexibility. It also requires more energy, so a few calories will be burned.”

After a few weeks of trying it out we had an uncontrollable urge to bounce in place (wonder if that counts for a few minutes of physical activity every hour). We also found that we weren’t quite sure if we were sitting on the ball correctly. Sometimes we’d still slouch and adjust, sometimes we’d lean too closely into our keyboard and let the ball roll back too far. Then we found this video on LiveStrong.com which set us straight (literally). According to our personal trainer, when you are sitting all angles should be at 90 degrees which rang true in the video. Their advice?

Watch the full video here.

Wanna try it yourself? Buy one for yourself here. And for the record, it’s not as uncomfortable as you would assume.  We never fell off the ball (as some warned us we might) and as far as any visual results? Well, we knew we had a core from Pilates, but this is “a core” of another kind …


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