Stability Ball

I’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to trying new things. Especially when it’s being introduced by some of my younger employees. Maybe it’s because they have a ton more energy than I do, or maybe it’s my fear of not being able to keep up. Perhaps, it could very well be because I merely like the balance and structures proven effective, and throwing something new on my processes during the workday makes me a bit apprehensive. 

Up until about a decade ago when I began my career with FPCA, I always worked in positions that allowed me to move around. Every single day of my life, my body was in constant motion and it wasn’t just the gym addiction, it was in everything I did. After getting into a more sedentary position, I found myself guilty of sitting way too much. My posture was subjected to a future of hurt, my joints started to ache and I picked up weight. It’s a love-hate relationship for those of us who are incredibly active and have to spend 8-10 hours a day sitting. But, if you love the job and it pays the bills then that’s how it goes.

One day, my Patient Service Coordinator brought in a box and spent the next 10 minutes blowing up a stability ball. I thought she was crazy! Over the next week, I observed her bouncing, moving back and forth, maintaining a constant motion while she worked. By the following week, another PSC jumped on board and purchased one. Since then, several of my crew have set up their home telecommute offices replacing their traditional desk chairs with one of these balls, and a few others have standing desks. I didn’t bite until the Quarantine 15 (weight, that is) hit me like a ton of bricks. Laugh if you want, but just blowing the stability ball up with a manual pump resulted in a pulled muscle. Mercy!

There are so many benefits that come along with using a stability ball in place of a desk chair. Burning extra calories alone, from the constant motion is enough for me to buy in. Relieving back pain, focusing on better posture which also allows for increased lung capacity, toning those pesky core muscles, strengthening muscles throughout your lower extremities, and so much more. Do you remember back in elementary school where the teacher would have the class stand up and stretch? Although, looking back, I think it was for reigning in lost attention spans during boring lessons, it’s still a great thing to do! Stretching helps to lengthen tight muscles, increase oxygen flow and give a little energy boost.  Using the stability ball to stretch is absolutely amazing!

One of the things I am finding personally is my somewhat ailing balance has largely improved. I love to hike! Exploring some of the trails my teenage son likes to test my agility on are becoming less daunting. I won’t lie though, my first attempt at getting a comfortable spot landed me looking a lot like Humpty Dumpty after his fall. And, the only horses that came to my rescue were my dogs, and by “rescue”, I mean discovering me on the floor suggested it was playtime. It took a little bit to find that balanced spot where I could work on my laptop and start my core tightening adventure. I’m really starting to enjoy my telecommute days where I can take an abhorred sedentary physical position and discover new ways to get moving without changing the task at hand. 

If you’ve been considering a new desk chair, I promise this is a lot more sensible of a purchase and will derive more benefits than the over-priced, ordinary and unimaginative seat. I would even suggest this as an option for your virtual-school kids who maybe have a little extra energy and a difficult time sitting still. If you love your stability ball and have suggestions for our readers, give us a shout on Facebook! As always, stay healthy, active and happy during this ever-changing time in life.

~Shannon Hadeed

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