On editing-related e-mail lists I subscribe to, some listmates have often recommended sitting on an exercise ball, rather than a desk chair or computer chair, while working, to help with back problems and strengthen core body muscles.
I just read about another reason for using a ball as a chair that might help some of you: The print version of the summer issue of ADDitude magazine, a publication that focuses on living with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), notes that working while sitting on a ball aids concentration. Lots of people with AD/HD have found that sometimes fidgeting and wiggling can help refocus wandering attention. Maintaining a seat on a ball would definitely entail some wiggling. Even for those who don't have AD/HD, I can imagine that wiggling on a ball could help them get through really boring projects with their eyes still open. ;-)
Updated 12:50 a.m., 5/20/09: Here's a study (or here; requires payment for access to the full article) showing that allowing children with AD/HD to wiggle in their seats (with the aid of a special cusion) helps them focus better in the classroom.
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