Ball Chair V Office Chair – The Best Choice Revealed!


Today, let’s compare the difference between a ball chair v office chair to reveal if the new kid on the block can compete with the good old reliable desk chairs. Many of you might not have even heard of, let alone seen a ball chair before. With that in mind, let’s compare them based on 8 key principles to decide the winner.

If you’re in a hurry, here is a site I recommended for office equipment with lifetime guarantee!

Ball chair v office chair

FeatureBall chairOffice chair
PurposeEncourages user to improve their balance and stabilityEnables all-day sitting with varying levels of adjustable bodily support
SizeApprox. 22 – 31 inches long, 22 – 31 inches wideApprox. 15 – 19 inches deep, approx. 19 – 21 inches wide, 16 – 20 inches inches high
Level of supportMediumMedium – high
Price$34.99 – $363.69+$55.18 – $2649
Adjustable heightsApprox. 23 – 31 inches Suited for 5’ – 6’ 3”Yes Suited for 4’10” – 7’3″
ComfortLow. Suited for short term, approx. 20 minutesMedium to high. Suited for use all day
Weight3 – 13 pounds16 – 59 pounds
Weight capacity300 – 2000 pounds250 – 800 pounds

Now that you have the snapshot comparison of how balance ball chairs and office chairs differ, let’s delve deeper into each of these factors.

Did you know? Ball chairs were found to cause spinal shrinkage and poor posture among other negative posture effects. Source

Ball chair v office chair Photo credit willspot on VisualHunt

1. Purpose of ball chair v office chair

Balance ball chairs introduce a different posture along with micromovements for short sitting durations at a desk. In comparison, office chairs are designed for medium to high level support for all-day use at a desk.

If you’re working or sitting at a desk, you will need an adjustable chair. If you already own one, then a yoga ball chair can be an accessory to your desk.

This will enable you to adopt a different seating style while sitting on the ball chair.

Office chairs are suited to people who want to:

  1. Have good support to bodily parts while sitting
  2. Be able to use the chair for the entire day
  3. Adopt an ergonomic posture to minimize discomfort and bodily strain
  4. Be able to adjust various components on the chair to suit them

Yoga ball chairs are usually targeted at an audience that want to:

  1. Improve their posture
  2. Relieve back pain
  3. Adopt a different sitting posture than a chair
  4. Improve their stability and balance
  5. Reduce pain from sitting on a hard surface

Sadly, there’s currently little evidence to back up the above advantages of yoga ball chairs.

Related: Types of kneeling chairs – Plus pros & cons

2. Size of ball chair v office chair

Ball chairs have generally the same shape. However, their average size is primarily dictated by the size of the exercise ball you choose.

Balance ball chairs have widths around 22 – 31 inches long and 22 – 31 inches wide.

Balance ball chairs usually come in balls sizes as 65cm or 75 cm, but can also come in sizes ranging from 45 – 85 cm.

Office chairs come in a number of designs which will ultimately dictate their average size. They range from around 19 – 21 inches wide, 15 – 19 inches deep and 16 – 20 inches inches high.

3. Level of support of ball chair v office chair

There’s no denying that an ergonomic office chair will diminish balance ball chairs when it comes to the level of support that they provide for your body.

Ball chairs often lack a back rest, can cause you to adopt a slouching posture and introduce instability while using them. Due to the nature of how yoga balance chairs orientate and work your body, they are typically only suitable for use over short periods of time.

Office chairs, on the other hand, have a gradient of support levels.

At a bare minimum, you’ll be able to adjust the chair height. On more adjustable task chairs, you can adjust the armrest height, back tilt and height.

Opt for an ergonomic chair and you can adjust even more features again:

  1. Seat pan depth
  2. Seat tilt
  3. Tilt tension
  4. Adjustable lumbar support
  5. Headrest

Evidently, it will be more comfortable for most people to sit in an ergonomic chair than a ball chair. Besides, there’s very little evidence that recommends using a ball chair.

In fact, most studies recommend avoiding a ball chair altogether!

4. Price of ball chair v office chair

Office chairs have a typical price range of between $55.18 – $2649. The price of a office chair is usually determined by the type of office chair as well as the amount of adjustability, brand and quality of it.

Basic office chairs fair the cheapest, this is followed by drafting chairs, task chairs and ergonomic chairs. Big and tall chairs tend to be one of the most expensive office chairs available!  

You can expect to pay around $34.99 – $363.69+ for a ball chair. This makes ball chairs a slightly more affordable entry level option.

But remember, if you don’t already own a standard desk chair, you’ll most likely need to buy one to go with your yoga ball chair.

That said, if you’re not going to be using the yoga ball at a desk, then this may not be needed.

Recommended: Eurotech Ergonomic Chair with lifetime warranty (link on OfficeFurniture2Go)

5. Adjustable heights of ball chair v office chair

The type of desk chair that you opt for will dictate the range of adjustability. Standard desk chairs have a height range of around 16 – 20 inches. Big and tall chairs are designed for larger users. Evidently, they offer the largest height range of up to 24 inches.  

Ball chairs are also able to cater for a range of heights from 5’ – 6’ 3” tall. There are also balance ball chairs for kids which can cater to heights between 3’9” – 4’8” tall.

They should also offer guidance on what size you should choose based on your height.

6. Comfort of ball chair v office chair

For the most part, office chairs are typically going to feel more comfortable to sit in than gym ball chairs. They offer a much greater level of support and cushioning than a ball chair. Plus, office chairs can be used all day!

However, there are a cohort of people who swear by ball chairs being more comfortable.

Now whether this is due to them having back pain or some health condition that makes a ball chair more comfortable is another question. Long story short, you will be the only one who can answer this.

But remember that office chairs have thousands of studies advocating them in comparison to ball chairs which you’re told to steer clear from.

The only way to really know is to try them both out! Or perhaps consider seeking medical assistance to investigate why you experience discomfort while sitting in an office chair.

Even if you do buy either option and they don’t feel comfortable, there are usually 30-day return policies available.

Related: What to look for in an ergonomic office chair

7. Weight of ball chair v office chair

Desk chairs have weights around 16 – 59 pounds whereas a balance ball chair tends to weigh between 3 – 13 pounds.

The weight of an office chair or ball chair is largely based on the size and type of materials used. Big and tall chairs are usually the heaviest type of desk chair.

Tip: If the chair that you opt for has wheels, it will make it much easier to move.

8. Weight capacity of ball chair v office chair

A weight limit is usually provided by the manufacturer. This indicates how much pressure the office chair can hold without becoming subject to sinking or damage.

Standard desk chairs have a weight capacity of approximately 250 – 800 pounds.

Gym ball chairs have weight limits around 300 pounds, but some of them can achieve as high a weight limit as 2000 pounds.

Both options should be suitable for the majority of people.

Related: How to choose an office chair – a quick buyer’s guide

Conclusion

The winner of this war is undeniably the reliable office chair. With greater bodily support and comfort, it’s no wonder that everyone uses them. That said, there are the small cohort of people who love their exercise ball chair.

While both ultimately allow you to sit, they do so in very different postures and offer their own pros and cons which can be seen from above.

Remember that balance chairs will also need to be accompanied by an adjustable chair if you don’t already own one.

If you’d like to broaden your knowledge further on office chairs or learn more about ball chairs or other types of active furniture, then these articles below are without a doubt worth a look!

Here are some other useful articles I wrote that you should go check out:

  1. What to look for in an ergonomic office chair
  2. How to choose a kneeling chair? 21 watch outs
  3. Kneeling Chair V Ball Chair – Which Is Better + FAQs!
  4. What is a standing desk chair? A quick user guide
  5. How to choose a standing desk chair? In 12 steps!

Recommended Products:

  1. Eurotech Ergonomic Chair with lifetime warranty (link on OfficeFurniture2Go)
  2. CoolMesh Pro Multi-Function Chair  (link on OfficeFurniture2Go)
  3. Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair (link on Amazon)
  4. Trideer Ball Chair with base (link on Amazon)
  5. Sleekform Austin Kneeling Chair (link on Amazon)

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