Top positive review
1,260 people found this helpful
Not Necessarily a Novelty
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!