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After a very long and crappy day at work yesterday, I decided to treat myself to a little work space improvement. I had previously posted about the butt cushion that my boss agreed to buy for me. I have been using it for about a year to cope with my lower back and hip pain that comes from sitting pretty much all day. Although it is better than nothing, the problem is not really being ameliorated by it.

I had seen that other people had used an exercise balance ball in lieu of a chair, and it seemed to be a neat idea. I thought that if I could get permission, that it might be an option to help my back pain. I have pretty good balance, and coupled with having the desk to grab onto, it would be relatively safe. I spoke to the woman who teaches the yoga class I’ve been taking and she thought it would be a good idea, as long as I got one that was tall enough for me and my desk.

So, today was a day of upgrades. I first asked permission from my boss, who was surprisingly agreeable. Apparently, some other departments have also been using them, which gave me the confidence that I would be able to use one without creating a problem. The building we work in is all about appearances, and heavily patrolled by the powers that be. It’s important that if I were to invest in one, that they wouldn’t decide that it was ugly and demand its removal.

I then went out to the local sporting goods store procured myself the tallest, sturdiest ball I could find. Luckily, it was only $25, and was a nice professional gray color. The inflation took a while, with an awkward shake-weight like hand pump. Fortunately, I got it filled and was able to stop it up without drawing too much attention to myself.

Sitting on it was a bit shorter than I thought, so I added more air to it. Even then, it wasn’t as tall as my chair would have been, but the comfort factor was definitely there. I sat it on the fest of the day, having the freedom to bounce gently on it to entertain my inner child for a while. Often, I found myself re-enacting the infamous animaniacs “boingy boingy boingy” which made me quite happy. I’ll add a bit more air to it in the morning to see if I can get it a bit taller, but overall, it was a great trade off for a traditional chair. My lower back and hip pain has nearly gone altogether and I’m a much happier camper.