Thursday, January 3, 2013

Having a Ball

Have you ever taken note of your posture throughout the workday? Maybe you start the day strong, fresh off your morning cup of coffee, upright and ready to produce. After several hours of that, plus a lunch break, you might spend the afternoon joining the rest of us- slouching in your chair, leaning back and doing your best to focus on your work instead of the clock.

We really shouldn't blame your chair for that. There are all sorts of other factors that could be involved there. Your chair, however, doesn't usually help. However, Safco has an interesting alternative that offers a comfortable sit while still demanding concentration and posture.

The Zenergy ball chair is a mesh-covered medicine ball that sits on a sturdy base and, despite its small footprint, is sized about the same as a normal chair. Without a back, it's up to you to stay upright. This isn't any more difficult than sitting on a bench, but it does require your body to sit properly. This keeps you more alert and more ready to work than when a back rest is supporting you.

I've been sitting in one all afternoon, and the mesh covering does make for a comfortable sit and it certainly improves concentration. The whole good posture thing and the occasional adjustments do require a period of acclimation: I recommend sitting in the chair for only a couple hours at a time, building up to full-time use over the course of a few days. It also feels a little higher than my previous chair and a bit over-inflated. The Zenergy does include a pump for making such adjustments, which I would totally do if it wasn't a demo that I had to share with the rest of the office.

The Zenergy does serve me well in particular, as I tend to be a bit fidgety at my desk, never quite content in one position. The ball allows for a bit of non-disruptive squirming, allowing me to focus on my work as the seat shifts on its own to adjust to my position. It's the same philosophy Safco takes with their Alpha-Better series of school desks that allow children to stand (or sit on optional stools) and fidget during class.

It's no surprise, then, that Safco also has a smaller ball chair, the Runtz series, designed for children. It sits about 6 inches shorter but has all the same features as the Zenergy.


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