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Color: BlackPackage Type: Frustration-Free PackagingChange
Price:$79.98+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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1,113 of 1,148 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2006
I purchased this Gaiam Balance Ball Chair in late December 2005.

It's an item you have to get used to if you've sat in regular office chairs for a long time (I've sat in padded-foam/plastic chairs for over 15 years, over 40 hours per week). I'm 6 feet tall, 155 lb., and practice Vinyasa Yoga every now-and-then, and I am no Yoga expert by any means.

1. The purpose of doing Yoga ball exercise is to align your body through training the core muscle in your torso--your abdominal muscle will help support your back. This practice, over time, will give you better posture. Also, "constant-centering" myself on the ball reminds me not to bend forward my shoulders or slouch.

2. My old office chair has a pneumatic height adjustment at 19"-20" This ball seat height (with the doughnut-shape base) is about 23" tall; sitting down on it, at my weight, brings it down to about 18"--of course, it will depend on your monitor/keyboard setup and on how much air you put in the ball. I raised the table height 3" higher and purchased an adjustable keyboard/mouse extension tray. I make the ball as firm as possible.

3. The back support is detachable (which I've done) and allows you to center yourself over it more. Don't lean on the back support for too long, or you may hurt your lower back.

4. You will experience some back pain for a few days, some shoulder pain if you're use to having an armrest, and neck pain if you had a headrest. Keeping my chest open and head up help my abs stay taut.

Minus half-star for the rolling wheels because they sometimes trip me over when I get up and stand. So, I spread my feet and use my leg muscles to stand upright. I recommend it still because it motivates me to get up and walk around. It's not healthy to allow the legs be pooled with blood (which causes veining) over two-three hours at a time. This item is at a decent price range, offered here on Amazon. Hope this helps!
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442 of 463 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2007
I purchased this chair because I have lower back pain. I've had it now for about 6 months and find that at the end of the day my back feels much better. I don't use the ball for working out, I only use it as an office chair.

It definitely takes a little while to get used to it. The first few days, my back was sore and I almost went back to my old chair. It was sore, but it didn't hurt. After about a week, I stopped noticing my back being sore. I'm pretty sure it is because my back had to build up the muscles to support my body. Which is exactly what I was hoping it would do. The chair doesn't allow you to lean on the back of a normal office type chair, therefore forcing you to use your back muscles.

It doesn't force you to have perfect posture, but without the ability to lean on a backrest, it reminds me throughout the day to sit up right. After a couple of months, I do it naturally now.

I realized how much the chair has helped with my back pain last week. One of my co-workers asked to try the chair out for a couple of days. My back hurt at the end of the day significantly more than it has in months. Pretty conclusive proof that this works for me.

Be warned, you'll get a lot of funny looks when people first see it. Even the UPS guy laughed at me while delivering it. I don't care! It makes me feel better.

The bottom line: Be prepared for a week or two of time to get used to it and build up the back muscles. I think afterward you'll thank yourself.

***UPDATE*** Almost 2 years now since I bought this chair and I still sit on it every day. Have not had lower back pain at the end of the day since a few weeks after I bought it. Still 5 stars for me!
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143 of 147 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2015
I actually loved this chair when I got it. It seemed to be everything that was promised. I bought the cover to go with it, so it looked good with my other furniture too. Literally the day after Amazon's 30-day return policy expired, however, the part of the base where the front right caster is inserted, collapsed. Caved in on itself. The heaviest person who sat on it was not even close to 300 pounds specified as the upper limit, so it wasn't a matter of exceeding that. I looked at their website, I dug around on Amazon, I asked the question on the "Questions" section here, looked at the box and instructions and could find NO stated warranty period. That means I paid a lot of money for an exercise ball. My only recourse is to warn others. Sometimes, you don't get what you paid for.
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459 of 485 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2006
The chair is surprisingly comfortable. I'm not sure how *much* it helps me with balance or toning, but I do actually feel like I'm using my muscles a little more than usual while sitting all day at the office, so I feel pretty good about it. And it looks really nice, too.

Overall I like the chair a lot, just one real complaint. There is no height adjustment. For me it's not much of an issue because my desk happens to be at around the right height. But this might be a problem for someone else. I suppose you could let some air out of the ball to make it a little lower, but that doesn't strike me as an ideal solution.

I do have one suggestion for anyone buying this chair. There are four wheels that you snap into the proper places onto the bottom of the chair when you're assembling it. Two of the four have locks you can flip down to prevent the wheels from rolling. I have found that with these two wheels attached on the front side of the chair, my feet keep accidentally hitting the locks and activating them so that it's difficult to roll the chair. I'd suggest putting these locks on the back side of the chair unless you plan to leave the locks activated most of the time.
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389 of 424 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2005
I used one of these at my last job. This is a wonderful chair. The first time that I sat on it I fell off, but then once I learned how to sit on it, it was amazing. It kept my back straight, and kept me sitting upright, and I didn't feel so sleepy after 8 hours at the computer. I love this chair. It it worth the price.
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90 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2012
I just put my chair together and the ball is significantly smaller than the one pictured on the site. It doesn't touch the backrest or the front constraint and it is about 5 inches shorter than the one pictured. I feel like I am sitting on the ground and the ball is not held in place very easily. A lady in my office has the exact same chair and same brand but her ball is a lot bigger than the one I received. I would still love to find a ball chair but am at a loss of where to look, this is the second one I have ordered and received with a ball that is too small. I took pictures of my chair and did a side by side comparison with the one featured on the site and would love to upload it but am unable to.
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125 of 136 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2014
Chair shipped with too small of a ball. Replacement chair same issue. I'm cutting my loses and moving on. If you look at the reviews this has been happening since 2011. Avoid!!!!!!!!
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347 of 392 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2005
I've been using just a plain gym ball as a chair instead. You don't really need or miss the back because the ball gets you to hold your spine in correct allignment. So I recommend just buying a ball (much cheaper) and using that alone.
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262 of 298 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2006
After sitting on a true yoga ball for 3 years as my office chair the Balance Ball Chair sounded like a fancy upgrade for my new job, but I was disappointed. The quality of the product was fine, assembly was easy and it looked fine. But the base that the ball sits defeats the idea that you must use your abdominals to balance because it is completely stable. The rollers don't work very well on carpet and the wheels get locked very easy which makes motion even more awkward. I have returned the ball chair and am back to my yoga ball.

Also, if you are tall, I would not recommend the balance ball chair. It says that is good for people up to 6'-0" but I am 5'-10" and it is very short. The exercise book that comes along with the chair has exercises that are only possible if you are 5'-2" or shorter.
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184 of 208 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2006
I have been considering this purchase for a while, and decided to spring for it when the price dropped. I am a musician and am very conscious of body alignment -- I do yoga, Pilates and Alexander Technique to maintain my body for playing. My old desk chair was not allowing me to sit truly well, and this product does. Sitting on a ball is great by itself, but the wheeled base allows it to truly function as a desk chair -- for instance, to roll over a few inches towards the printer, or rotate around to the other part of my L-shaped desk. I don't miss the arms at all. I am usually typing or writing when sitting at my desk.

The chair is very comfortable and was very easy to assemble. You should know that the manufacturer cautions against leaning on the back rest, called the "support bar;" it is for "stability during the exercises." There is a booklet included that shows a series of exercises using the ball both on and off its roller base. There are locks on two of the casters for use in doing these exercises.

My caveat, which does not reflect on the quality of the product, is that the ball is too small for me to use off its base. I am 5'8", and use a 55 cm ball. I did not see the FitBall product, which uses the exact ball I like for exercise, and I probably would have purchased that if I had, so I could store my ball on the chair. I may yet; this chair is an acceptable height for my computer keyboard, but rather low for the other part of my desk.
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