Fit Balls and Treadmills

FIT BALLS

The Risk Management & Insurance Ergonomics program does not recommend fit balls, exercise balls or any other similar apparatus regardless of its features as a replacement for an approved ergonomic office chair.

Details

Fit balls do not allow for recommended seated postures (reclined, declined, upright), do not provide any sufficient back support and force a user to engage the core. While core strengthening can be beneficial, it is not at all recommended for long durations and use of dynamic posture and movement in a good ergonomic chair to minimize the engagement of the core muscles is most ideal. Fit balls, regardless of the type, also have minimal if none adjustment at all which is a crucial part of a chair being “ergonomic”. Furthermore, fit balls can be unstable and can lead to safety risks such as falls.

Please review the below documentation for additional information regarding fit balls, their detriments and various studies on the use of fit balls, office chairs, spinal compressive forces and more.

Position Paper – Exercise Balls
Fit Ball vs. Office Chair – Fact Sheet

Additional education on seated postures may also be useful. Many employees may have the wrong chair or are unaware of how to use their chair to best benefit the body. Knowing how and why to use the chair correctly is crucial in decreasing pain and discomfort and reducing injury risk while seated. Movement is also crucial and even with a good ergonomic chair, sitting too long is not ideal. Review the below videos for additional information.

Work Better
Sit Better
Move Better
See Better

Request an ergonomic evaluation to identify risks present in your workstation and gain an increased understanding of how to use your chair and other aspects of your workstation.

Schedule an Ergonomic Evaluation

TREADMILL DESKS

The Risk Management & Insurance Ergonomics program does not recommend treadmill desks of any design.

Details

Current research may suggest an increased calorie burn when walking on a treadmill, however, this is not the only consideration. Several studies have found users have a slower reaction times on cognitive tasks and decreased performance and productivity. There are also safety concerns. Given a user’s reaction time is slower, the risk for a misstep is increased. In addition, research has also indicated that there may be issues with heel strike leading to pathological conditions.

Instead of a treadmill desk, an ideally adjustable electric, pneumatic or counterbalance table is recommended. The simple adjustment from sitting to standing has been shown to be beneficial and present far fewer risks.

Please review the below documentation for additional information regarding fit balls, their detriments and various studies on the use of fit balls, office chairs, spinal compressive forces and more.

Position Paper – Walkstation (Treadmill Desks)

Schedule an Ergonomic Evaluation

Contact CSU Ergonomics
(970) 491-2724