As a writer and a communications professional, I find myself sitting in front of a computer screen for more than 80 percent of my waking hours. Sometimes when I’m at work, I start to feel this pain gradually spread across my posterior and into my lower back, and I realize I haven’t moved for several hours. It saddens me to admit it, but I’ve become the dreaded office drone.
I do enjoy hiking and biking, and I try to exercise regularly (my current kick is Jillian Michaels’ “Body Revolution”), but I also try to find small ways I can engage my muscles while I perform my daily (physically inactive) tasks. My latest experiment in improved fitness has been the stability ball office chair.
I have two stability balls in my home gym (I’m using the term “gym” very loosely, as this is really just a spare room with a TV, DVD player and small fitness equipment), so I decided to swap out my office chair for one of the stability balls. Because I am as graceful as a drunk goose, I chose the stability ball that is weighted in the bottom, making it far less likely to roll out from under me.
I didn’t think much of it the first time I used it. I sat on it for close to an hour while working at my desktop computer. I did feel some pain and muscle stress in my lower back, but I didn’t think my core was getting much of a workout. However, the next day I felt unmistakable soreness in my upper abdominal muscles. Success! I had gotten a bit of an ab workout by doing what I normally do: sitting at my desk working on my writing.
Due to safety concerns (such as the rolling out from under oneself mentioned earlier), stability ball chairs are not allowed at my place of employment. Major bummer, but that doesn’t stop me from implementing this full-time at my home office. My new goal is to sit on the stability ball chair for a minimum of an hour when I write, incorporating some actual stability ball exercises during those moments when I’m thinking/brainstorming so I am engaging more than just my lower back and upper abdominal muscles.
Is this a realistic goal? Well … at the moment I’m actually sitting on my couch writing this from my netbook. Victoria’s Secret’s semi-annual sale is going on via web only right now, so I was watching Law & Order while browsing the online catalog. After placing my order, the writing bug bit me pretty hard, so I paused Law & Order to bring you this easy and useful health and fitness tip.
So after tonight, there will be no more writing from the couch. It’s stability ball chair. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going and maybe even recommend some stability ball exercises that work well in the office environment.
Until then …
Keep it real,