Friday, October 29

Fitness Balls Used As Office Seating

By: Wayne S. Maynard | May 10, 2007

Thanks to recent publicity in the print media, the internet and vendor marketing, the popularity of using fitness balls as office seating is rising dramatically. Also called Swiss Balls, exercise balls, activity balls, gym balls, stability balls, and physioballs, these devices have been used for years to increase strength and improve fitness during exercise routines. Cited benefits by vendors of using fitness balls for office seating include:

  • Ergonomics by encouraging proper seated posture and strengthening the abdominal muscles while sitting,
  • Relief of neck and back pain, and,
  • Permitting one to sit for hours without fatigue.

One newspaper article is quoted, “The benefits of the ball, which keeps people active while sitting, outweighs the concerns.”1 A vendor in the same article states, “Because you buy a ball that fits your height and your frame and your size you are sitting properly.” In reality, risks associated with the design and use of fitness balls as office seating far outweigh anecdotal benefits cited by vendors of fitness balls as office seating.

Ergonomics is the design of jobs, tasks, tools, furniture and equipment to fit the worker. Fitness balls as office seating are not ergonomic for the following reasons:

  • Fitness balls fail chair stability requirements and test standards for office seating.4
  • Fitness balls do not meet adjustability requirements for office seating as published in two known computer furniture industry guidelines.2,3
  • Fitness balls may not be appropriate for an aging workforce. One medical professional stated workers over age 50 should not use fitness balls as chairs as they could loose their balance and fall off.1 Plus, certain acute or chronic illnesses and certain prescription medicines can affect balance. Serious injuries or worse are possible if a worker falls off a fitness ball when used as office seating.
  • Fitness balls offer no known physical benefit. A recent study by McGill et al.6 concluded: “prolonged sitting on a dynamic, unstable seat surface does not significantly affect the magnitudes of muscle activation, spine posture, spine loads or overall spine stability.” In addition, McGill and colleagues discovered “some subjects reported discomfort while sitting on the ball possibly related to higher contact area and soft tissue compression.”
  • Regarding fitness balls as office seating, says Peter Budnick, Ph.D. of the ErgoWeb, “When someone tells you that a $19 ball will solve all of your back pain issues, you ought to be suspicious and when they have the audacity to label that ball ‘ergonomic,’ you should know better.”5

A successful office ergonomic program should include corporate furniture standards guiding what furniture will be provided for employees who use computers as part of their jobs. This standard should only permit furniture into the organization that meets ergonomic and safety guidelines. Fitness balls as office seating do not meet minimum guidelines for ergonomics or safety and should not be allowed in the workplace.


1. The Balls In Your Cubical; New Workplace Trend Replaces Office Chairs With Gym Balls; A Debate Over Health Benefits, Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2007.

2. BIFMA G1-2002 Ergonomics Guideline for VDT (Visual Display Terminal) Furniture Used In Office Work Spaces, BIFMA International, New York, NY.

3. ANSI/HFES 100-2007 Human Factors Engineering of Computer Workstations, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Santa Monica, CA.

4. ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 – 2002 General Purpose Office Chairs – Tests, American National Standard for Office Furniture.

5. Ergonomics Today™, On the Ball But Not Ergonomic, April 17, 2006 and Opinion: Balls As Chairs A Bad Idea, April 11, 2005,

6. S.M. McGill, N.S. Kavcic, and E. Harvey, Sitting on a chair or an exercise ball: Various perspectives to guide decision making, Clinical Biomechanics, 21, pp 353-360, 2006.

Copyright © 2008 Liberty Mutual. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 26

Peace again

So, one of the negative things about my trip home is hearing negative opinions from some of the people I love. Thinking like a Christian is differently than thinking like anyone else, and its hard for me to remember that.

All the way home Sunday and all day yesterday I was feeling discouraged. I was questioning a lot of things that I was at peace with prior to my visit home. Finally, last night God's still small voice got through all those tumultuous thoughts. My friend Jen and I had had lunch together on Friday and she said something that I didn't even know had 'stuck' with me until last night when God reminded me of it.

God is Sovereign.

That's all I need to know. If I am drawing near to God, and am daily walking with Him, then all I need to know is that He is Sovereign. Its not my place to worry about this or that. God already knows the ending to my story.

So this morning I got up early and was pleased to discover the topic of my bible study was Contentment in your Circumstances. Here are some quotes that helped me get back some of that peace that I was missing.

"...reality is a harsh reminder that life, even for the believer, includes daily challenges, painful conflicts, and difficult circumstances. The circumstances of your life are not a comment on what God thinks about you. THE CROSS is God's statement of how much He loves you and how determined he is to care for you. He sent his Son to provide salvation through His death on the cross. that act of love is an assurance to believers of god's devoted care and deep concern. My faith can't be put in _____, but in God."

(These are from "A Woman's Guide to True Contentment" by Rhonda Kelley)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, ifthere is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:6-8

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You. Psalms 119:9-11

Direct my steps by Your word,
And let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Your precepts. Psalms 119:133-134

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:2-8

Chattanooga in the Fall

WOW! What an amazing weekend! I'm not going to say it was better than Amelia Island (my original plan) but it was almost perfect. Jeremy and I had perfect weather- sunny and warm during the day, then cool at night. Friday we went up to Signal Point, one of my favorite spots, and just enjoyed the view for awhile. We also were able to go to Oktober Fest at the Cricket Pavilion (yes, I know its changed) and enjoy locally grown organic produce. I bought a hand knit orange scarf that I LOVE and will go great with the $200 cream pea coat I've picked out that I'll continue to dream about.

Then of course Saturday night was spent at my sisters house with tons of friends watching Brock Lesnar get his butt kicked in the first round! I was so happy!

All in all, a very tiring trip, but a rewarding one.

Sign up here for a free copy of The Nativity. Shipping is free, as well.

10 Creative Financing Ideas - Adoption Blog | Lutheran Social Services Of Wisconsin And Upper Michigan, Inc.

10 Creative Financing Ideas - Adoption Blog | Lutheran Social Services Of Wisconsin And Upper Michigan, Inc.

Tuesday, October 19

Free Frutista Freeze

@ Taco Bell

Free sample

and NO I don't know how to do this any other way. Sorry.

Amazing Love

There is so much to say, to catch my blog up on, that I almost don't want to start. My heart is very full right now.

A few weeks ago, when I found out I wasn't pregnant- again- and I remembered that the first adoption MAPP class for FL Baptist Children's home was on the weekend of the special vacation I had planned, I became very discouraged. I knew I didn't have a peace about the class so I definitely wasn't going to cancel my vacation for it. Also, I was frustrated with Jeremy b/c I felt like he and I weren't on the same page regarding this whole adoption/baby issue. I, like I've said before, am a VERY open person, and its hard for me to understand/sympathize/empathize with those who are not- namely Jeremy. So, I began the long arduous task of talking to Jeremy, getting him to see where I am, and understanding where he was. After a frustrating, yet successful hour of 'talking' (it felt more like pulling teeth), I knew where Jeremy was, and Jeremy knew where I was. I was at peace again. (aside note- why he couldn't have been open with me from beginning would have saved me a whole lot of stress, but hey, he is who he is and I love him and accept him for who he is.)

So I can't remember if it was the next day or the day after that, but soon after our 'talk' I received an email from Bethany Christian Services, reminding us that their monthly informational meeting was coming up. Jeremy and I both felt this was God's way of leading us. So, we both got off work early and drove over to Pensacola. I tried not to get my hopes up too much b/c this hasn't been an easy journey, but when we walked out of that meeting, I felt hope and peace. Jeremy and I talked all the way home about how this might actually be a possibility for us. I called my family- I couldn't wait to share the news!

Well, one of the reasons we didn't go through an adoption agency first was because of the cost. Adoption through an agency is an average of $17,000. That is a LOT of money. However, at the meeting, Jeremy and I found out about grants, adoption loans, and most importantly, the adoption tax refund of nearly $13000, making our cost for the adoption around $4000- something Jeremy and I can actually afford!

So, Jeremy and I have spent the last week on paper work. I thought we might have to get the loan before we even were able to do the first step of the adoption process, but I was still at peace.
Of course my logical, type A mind started trying to figure out all the logistics of our child's entire life. I was mildly panicking on the phone to my sisters, saying "I know God's in control, but how are we going to do this and how are we going to do that, etc." Boy did he answer my questions.

On Friday Jeremy found a check for $450 in the mail from someone in our family that felt led to give towards the $550 application fee. While we were still in shock over that, my dad, who was in town to visit, decided to pay the rest of the fee, so he gave us $100. Words can't describe how we both felt. Even though this doesn't seem like a lot of money, its more of what it means. Jeremy and I both saw this as God's approval. (and Him telling me to Let Go and Let God!)

We are so blessed. I don't know how we'll manage- but that's not my job. I just have to be obedient and God will provide.