Physical Wellness … Stability Balls Are Good For You

Every now and then I like to have guest posts on my blog so this week I’d like to introduce you to Ryan Fahey @wellnessrf the School Health Facilitator for Ever Active Schools. Enjoy his post !

Physical Wellness: Stability Ball Usage

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Do you have a stability ball? Stability balls are those bright colored round items against the walls of your local gym or community centre. ( here is mine above says Susan and it may need a little more use. Maybe if it was brighter , I digress back to Ryan’s post )

I was once a stranger to these foreign objects and you may be like I once was. I never saw the practical use of these things. However, as I have gained both experience and knowledge in Personal Training and in the field of Health and Wellness I have learned and seen great use and benefits of the stability ball.Stability balls are flooding the market everywhere. They are trending, but have deep roots in aiding individual health and skeletal structure. Libraries, schools, offices and businesses all over the world are seeing the benefits of sitting on a stability ball compared to a normal desk chair. See, most of us spend a large amount of time in the seated position either in our work day or in our leisure time. We often drag our feet home from work and sit again on the couch for a hockey night in Canada marathon.

The bottom line here is the all of this sitting in rigid, upright or slouched positions can cause chronic back pain, spasms and injuries. The longer we sit the more our lower back tightens up and the more our entire posterior chain becomes less malleable. However, if you switched your desk chair with a stability ball for about 1 hour per day, you would not only burn more calories using the ball but you would be practicing having a better upright posture (which would strengthen your core muscles) and you are less likely to fall asleep. (if you fall asleep on a ball, you will only make that mistake once). Therefore, implementing an exercise ball at your home computer, work place desk or at your library table can actually make your body feel better, stronger and decrease chronic back problems associated with long sitting bouts. If you want to start using a stability ball to sit on instead of your regular chair, start by only sitting on it for 10-15min at a time and slowly build up to it. Sitting on these balls is not easy as over time our bodies get tired and tend to slouch. When you slouch, that is a sign of weak core muscles which is ok. This just means you have some work to do and sitting on these balls can help you start building up your core strength. If you are a member of a gym, get your trainer to give you a tutorial on how they work.

Ultimately, like anything else you buy, think about it first. Where are you going to put it? Will my kids use it? Do I have room for it? Etc. Then, be sure to buy one and keep the receipt. The ball is too big if your lower leg and upper leg are forming a >90 degree angle when you sit comfortably on it. The ball is too small if you are low to the ground and your lower/upper leg angle is <90 degrees. Find a ball size that works for you and start implementing it into your life, job, hobbies, etc as soon as you can. Be educated, enjoy life and stay active! Physical Wellness matters.


Ryan Fahey can be found on twitter @wellnessrf

Thanks Ryan I look forward to your next post on my blog and maybe by that time I’ll be using the stability ball in my basement. Self- talk . I will feel better if I use my stability ball while typing on the computer. Physical wellness matters! 🙂