Fitness Balls

The fitness ball (also known as a "swiss", "exercise" or "physio" ball) is used by some individuals as a comfortable seating alternative to an ergonomic chair. However, there are well-documented hazards associated with its use, which include:  

  • Load on musculo-skeletal structures due to:
    • lack of lower back support, resulting in loss of the initial upright posture over time
    • inability to maintain upright postures during reaching and movement
    • inadequate seat support for the buttocks and thighs
    • inability to adjust the ball to the correct height relative to the desk
    • inability to swivel or navigate around the workstation, resulting in twisting of the trunk while sitting on the ball
    • Fall hazard associated with getting on and off or reaching from the ball 
    • High concentration levels and fatigue from sustained exercising 

(WorkSafe Victoria and ACT WorkCover)

As a result, UNSW Health and Safety does not recommend the use of such balls at workstations.