Ball Chairs Inspire ‘Ball Envy’

As a ball-sitting convert, I just can’t get enough ball sitting articles:
Excerpts from a WSJ article on the rise of ball chairs in the workplace:

Long used by fitness buffs and physical-therapy patients, those big spheres you see at the gym (commonly known as exercise balls) are rolling into an increasing number of workplaces as a seating option.

More and more office workers are giving up their chairs in favor of balls. Skeptics think they look a bit silly at first, but many become diehard ball sitters themselves once they try it:

The sight of the odd-looking chairs always draws comments from employees and mail carriers.

“I think people would like to have one, but they are afraid to have it.”

In some offices, employees who sit in regular chairs are developing ball envy. At PJ Inc., a New York-based public relations firm, when a new employee showed up with a ball chair on her third day of work, people stared. “It was kind of like, who is this strange girl who brought a chair in with her?” says Charis Heelan, a coworker. “That was until we sat in it.”

The employees are now fascinated with the space-age looking chair. It has also become a conversation starter when clients visit the office. “When she’s not at her desk, we all go and sit on her chair,” Ms. Heelan says. “There’s a bit of jealousy.”


Some workers say sitting on a ball makes them feel younger. “It kind of reminded me of when I was a kid,” says Patricia Harder, director of training and development at Healthtrax Inc., a Glastonbury, Conn.-based company that operates fitness and wellness centers. Ms. Harder bought a ball chair for herself a couple of years ago. When she began working at home, the chair went with her. Now, she says, sitting on regular chairs is a turnoff.

Nay-sayers complain that the ball is difficult to sit on for long periods, they are potentially dangerous because people can fall off them or trip over them, and that they are simply not replacements for adjustable chairs with arm and back support.

To this I say, they’re just scared. The fact is, the more you sit on a ball, the easier it gets. Your balance improves as a result, which ultimately could prevent a fall, say on a patch of ice or on the stairs.

Related posts: Fitness Ball Seating in Classrooms Keeps Kids Focused, Top 5 Reasons Why Balls Are Better Than Chairs, Are Fitness Balls as Chairs Ergonomic or Not?

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