There are ads and web pages that suggest using an exercise ball as a desk chair. Some are self promoting and others are not well referenced.

I found mentions of possible lumbar issues related to using an exercise ball in the long term.

Are there reputable studies that indicate a significant difference and benefits of using an exercise ball?

  • can you provide some link about the ball and the chair, as well as some image and information about how it function? It will definitely help others
    – Ooker
    Jun 10, 2015 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


There are actually studies about sitting in a regular chair vs. an exercise ball. Here and here for example. Neither seems to show net benefits. The limitations of both studies are small sample size and short time period of observation.

Anecdotally, I know at least two people who both have done it and they seem happy with it (but this is recent, so I can't speak for long term use).

A few considerations:

Height - With an exercise ball, you will not be able to vary its height. So if it's fairly low relative to your desk, you might be forced to straighten your back. If it's too high you might end up curving your spine.

Arm rests - Just from experience, I find that in chairs without arm rests, my shoulders are less slouchy, and my back is a bit straighter. I don't know to what extent this makes a difference for you or others, but keep it in mind.

Soft vs. hard seat - I wonder how this influences blood flow to your legs, other parts of the body, and if it also affects posture.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.