Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Back pain relief: Ergonomic chair or fitness ball?

For back pain relief, is it better to sit on an ergonomic office chair or a fitness ball?

Updated: 11-02-2012

Answer

If long periods seated at a desk are giving you a sore back, your office chair may need adjusting to give you better back support — or you may even need a new chair designed to reduce back pain. Sitting on a fitness ball for office work is not recommended.

To stay upright on a fitness ball, you have to make constant, small adjustments in muscle tension and weight distribution. This effort helps you achieve the benefits of core-strengthening exercises performed with a fitness ball. Prolonged balancing on a fitness ball, however, may lead to increased fatigue and discomfort in your back.