Does Sitting on an Exercise Ball Make a Difference?

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Holding down a desk job isn’t exactly the best thing when it comes to our waistline or our posture. To combat this, many have previously recommended switching out the average swivel chair for an exercise ball. But does this switch really help or is it just a waste of time and effort? According to a recent study, it’s time to look for another solution.

During the study, lead by Canada research chair in spine biomechanics and injury prevention at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Dr. Jack P. Callaghan, volunteers were asked to sit on either an exercise ball, an office chair or a backless stool. While they were sitting, machines measured the muscle activity in their abdomens and lower backs. What they found was that there was no significant difference between the seat options. 

In fact, sitting on an exercise ball only burned four more calories per hour than the other options. Not only that, but there was no improvement in posture either. The researchers found that people slouch just as much when they’re sitting on an exercise ball as on a normal chair. So what’s an office dweller to do? Experts suggest trying to stand up for at least 15 minutes every hour to improve your overall health.

Have you ever switched out your normal chair for an exercise ball? Let us know if you noticed a difference in the comments below.