We have all been told that living a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy.
Human bodies were not meant to sit all day, however, many people have jobs that offer them no other choice aside from sitting for the majority of the day.
By doing this, we increase the risk of developing heart disease by up to 64% and can take seven years off our quality of life. Sitting all day also increases the risk for certain types of cancer.
It's difficult to get a completely accurate assessment of the impact of sitting all day because its effects work together with diet and various other risk factors. But if you are relatively healthy person, there are some clear impacts that sitting all day will still have on your body.
Timeline of the Effects of Sitting for Over 6 Hours Each Day
Here is a timeline of the effects of sitting for over 6 hours each day, starting with what starts happening as soon as you sit down.
As soon as you sit down, the activity in your muscles decreases and your body slows the rate at which it burns calories to just one calorie per minute, which is 33% of what your body does when you are walking.
Sitting for an entire 24-hour period will result in a 40% reduction in insulin's glucose uptake, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Two Weeks After Sitting for Over 6 Hours Per Day
After just five days of beginning a sedentary lifestyle, your body increases its content of fatty molecules, LDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance. Your muscles stop absorbing fat and your blood sugar levels rise, setting you up to gain weight.
After two weeks, your muscles begin to atrophy and the maximum amount of oxygen your body is able to consume drops, which you will notice when you have trouble walking up the stairs. Even if you exercise daily, the deterioration begins as soon as you stop moving.
One Year of Sitting for Over 6 Hours Per Day
Longer-term effects kick in after a year. Studies have shown that at this point, you may start to gain weight and have high cholesterol.
Studies also show that you can lose up to 1% of bone mass each year by sitting for over 6 hours a day.
After 10-20 Years
Sitting for over 6 hours per day for a can decrease your life by 7 adjusted years. Doing this raises your risk of dying of cardiovascular disease by 64% and your risk of prostate or breast cancer increases by 30%.
Clearly, staying planted in your chair all day is detrimental to your health. If you have a desk job, you need to consider ways to shake things up.
A Quick Look at Our Top Choices
In a hurry to find the best product for your need? don't have time to read the entire review? Here's a handy table that'll give quick look at our top choices!
Durability, made with extra thick PVC
Heavier people, with 300 lb. weight capacity
Ease of movement, with larger wheels for a smooth roll
Comfort and safety with lockable wheels
Good for those who like a sturdier chair with less give
For those who want style and durability
Introducing The Exercise Ball Chair
There are several benefits of an exercise ball chair that can help combat the ill effects of sitting all day.
First, it will improve your posture and core strength while you are sitting and working. Researchers have found that people who sit on stability balls are able to burn 4.1 times more calories each hour than people who sit in a traditional office chair.
While this might not sound like much, these calories accumulate and add up to an additional 640 additional calories burned each month.
Second, because it is easy to move around on an exercise ball, you will be more likely to get up every once in a while instead of remaining seated.
It is easy to step right up when you are sitting on an exercise ball, and you will be more inclined to do so with this ball chair.
However, it is important to start using an exercise ball slowly for an office chair. If you use one too much too quickly then it may lead to pain or discomfort.
You have to get your muscles used to the new sitting position before spending the entire day sitting on the exercise ball. Start with just an hour or so a day and increase it as you feel necessary.
What to Look For in a Good Exercise Ball Chair
There are a few things you want to consider when looking for an exercise chair.
First, you want to make sure that you have one that is at a comfortable height for you to work in an ergonomic position.
You don't want to be straining throughout the day trying to reach anything or having to bend over to sit comfortably at your desk. You want to consider if you want a base or not, which depends on your physical needs and abilities.
You also want to find one that is made from an anti-slip material. Without this, you may find yourself slipping off the ball when you are trying to sit and do your work. You want to feel sturdy while you are sitting and not like you are constantly about to fall off.
You may want to consider aesthetics, especially if you will be using your ball often in a nice office. Some of these products only come in one color, while others come in a variety of colors.
This ball chair will allow you to start active sitting while you are doing your work. It improves balance and core strength, relieves back pain, and can improve your posture.
This ball offers you a more active way of sitting and allows you to work your muscles throughout the day.
This exercise ball can be used by people of any age to increase stability and coordination, improve endurance, and complement existing resistance or aerobic fitness regimens.
It is made from extra thick PVC, which allows the user to feel secure while sitting in it. It also has an anti-slip matte surface to ensure that you do not slip down the ball while you are sitting on it.
It is tested for durability and has a static strength of up to 2,000 pounds. It comes with an inflatable stability ring that can keep your exercise ball in place so it does not move.
This desk chair is designed with a work-life balance in mind and was created with the help of a chiropractic doctor to provide users with the all-day ergonomic support that they need while working.
By using this ball, you will be encouraged to live a healthier life while your muscle aches from sitting at a traditional desk chair will fade away.
This chair uses the same balance ball that is used in a workout routine with an added adjustable support bar, two locking easy-glide wheels in the back and two regular easy-glide wheels in the front, a sturdy metal ball holder, and an air pump.
The Gaiam chair promotes micro movements and consistent blood circulation in the body, which will help your mind concentrate on your work even more.
This product is designed for users who are between 5' and 5'11" tall. This is also a great product for those who need a ball that is a bit taller because it comes with a leg extender that adds two inches of height. With a 300-pound weight capacity, this ball is great for most people.
This ball chair comes with a two-year warranty, so you can be sure the company stands behind their product.
It has a 2000 pound static strength, making it one of the more durable items on the market. Its height is about 22-25 inches, depending on how much you choose to inflate the ball.
It was designed by health experts to help people improve their spine and back health. It can help reduce the time you need to spend in rehabilitation after an injury as well.
The large wheels create an easier and smoother roll with this ball as you need to move around your office space. It also includes a thick balance bar to help ensure your stability.
This ball can hold people who weigh up to 300 pounds.
This chair can be used in your home or office to help you achieve an ergonomic sitting position. The rolling base has four rolling wheels which are lockable if you want to be a bit more sturdy.
You can use this product to stretch, fix your posture, improve your circulation, and loosen up your muscles. This chair is black and comes with a black balance ball and pump.
This is a feather-light chair that allows the user to sit comfortably while doing work and engaging their muscles.
It is made with an anti-burst PVC material and the pressure is contained by a tightly-fitted, well-crafted cover. This chair remains round and does not bend with weight. It just caves in enough for the user's optimal comfort.
This ball also can be used as an exercise ball during balance training or yoga. When you’ve finished your work for the day, you can lean back on the couch and use this attractive chair as an ottoman.
These beautifully designed chairs can be deflated when not in use or stay blown up to add some extra character to your decor.
This chair provides the user with some extra movement ability that not only allows someone to sit comfortably but also improves concentration and supports a healthy posture and balance.
This chair comes with four powder-coated steel legs that are equipped with stationary glides, reinforcing the stability of the chair and diminishing any worry about the chair rolling away from you.
It is designed with an anti-burst plastic and measures up to 23 inches when it is fully inflated. It comes with an air pump so the user can adjust the amount of air in the chair as needed.
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The ball has a durable vinyl cover but can also be purchased with a fabric cover in a variety of colors.
As with any other product, it is best if you can try a few out before you buy one. Think about your unique needs for an exercise ball chair and the area where you will be using it. Any of the above options are great, but the best one for you depends on your health and work needs.