Thursday, 17 September 2009

What you might call writing balls...

One of the lovely people we met at the charcoal burn in the Forest of Dean told us that the architects at the practice she manages don’t sit on office chairs – they use exercise balls instead. You know - those huge things that look like space hoppers without the ears and the goofy face…

So, because I have a back that enjoys tormenting me by popping its sacro-iliac joint fairly regularly and – according to my osteopath – pretty naff ‘core stability’ I decided I’d get one.

Foolishly, I followed the height recommendations at Argos and got a 65cm one when I should have looked at less cheapskate more medically-oriented ones which tell you ‘if you have unusually long legs this may necessitate the use of a larger ball’. Well I do have unusually long legs. I’m just shy of 5’10’’ and I have a 34’’ inside leg. Nightmare for buying trousers – average women’s trousers are 29/30’’ with 31/32’’ considered long or even (hah) extra long. For me, only Long Tall Sally trousers will reliably fit, so if I don’t like what they have on offer, I go without. I have a lot of very well-worn trousers…

So, having used my 65cm ball for a week, I sent off for a 75cm one instead. Of course, it arrived today. When we were all at work/school/in Portsmouth in the case of the Ultimate Frisbee Freak. So I’ll get it tomorrow.

Has anybody else tried alternative seating in a bid not to completely knacker themselves by sitting at a desk for large parts of the day?

6 comments:

Frances Garrood said...

I have a Putnam's wedge (cushion) on the chair I sit on to write, and it's great for the back (I broke mine 6 years ago). Incidentally, I've also got long legs (I like 36" length trousers) and recommend Gap for jeans. Not sure about sitting on a ball, though...

Aliya Whiteley said...

I've used an exercise ball and an ergonomic stool in the past. But my back really started to improve when I changed to a firmer mattress and did a bit more exercise.

Lounging around and eating chocolate didn't help, but I did plenty of research in that area just to be sure.

Verification word - anklingi.

Alis said...

Hi Frances - broken back, yikes!! Makes my dodgy joint look paltry. Thanks for the tip re Gap, it's never been a shop I've frequented as the boys have always poured scorn on it for some reason.

Hi Aliya. All this sounds familiar. Got the mattress (Other Half's back far worse than mine, necessitating orthopaedic one), do the exercise (walking def. better than running for the back!) so we'll see what the ball can do. I've used an ergonimic stool, known as the kneeling chair in our house!

David Isaak said...

I do 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga several times a week.

Doesn't really solve the root problem, but helps counter the ill effects of my horrible seated posture. I used to work on one of those kneeling chairs, but it didn't seem to help. As to a ball--ha! I'd be scrunching up concentrating on something and would quikly find myself sprawled on the floor.

Oh, and I stand up sometimes. When I remember.

Karen said...

Blimey that is a long leg - mine's a 28" !

I've used one of those kneeling stools in the past, but although it was good for my back, it hurt my knees. I've heard positive things about those balls, so definitely worth a try :o)

Juxtabook said...

My sacro-iliac is rubbish esecially on one side. I 'slipped' this with a forward tilt repeatedly undiagnosed so I carried it for at least 2 years. Left me a right mess. It is back where it should be now but I too lack core stability and have regular physio therapy and even so regular dmage myself again. The only non-physio successful thing which I have tried for my joints (apart from ice) is Louise Soloman's yogalates dvds - you also need a towel and pillow and yoga resitance band - very low tech. It is not too annoying (I am easily irritated) and one session leaves me feeling better for days. It focuses on core stability, is easier than yoga and I think more focused on injury prevention. I got the boxed set of 5 dvds - then I pick the bits which help the most. Available on Amazon and I am not on commission!