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Should We Be More on the Ball?: The Efficacy of Accommodation Training on Lumbar Spine Posture, Muscle Activity, and Perceived Discomfort During Stability Ball Sitting
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Research and Development, Gävleborg.
2013 (English)In: Human Factors, ISSN 0018-7208, E-ISSN 1547-8181, Vol. 55, no 6, 1064-1076 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a 9-day accommodation protocol on reducing perceived discomfort while sitting on a stability ball (SB); trunk muscle activity levels and lumbar spinal postures were also considered. Background: Previous studies have compared SB sitting with office chair sitting with few observed differences in muscle activity or posture; however, greater discomfort during SB sitting has been reported. These findings may indicate an accommodation period is necessary to acclimate to SB sitting. Method: For this study, 6 males and 6 females completed two separate, 2-hr sitting sessions on an SB. Half the participants completed a 9-day accommodation period between the visits, whereas the other half did not use an SB during the time. On both occasions, self-reported perceived discomfort ratings were collected along with erector spinae and abdominal muscle activity and lumbar spinal postures. Results: Discomfort ratings were reduced in female participants following the accommodation; no effects on muscle activation or lumbar spine postures were observed. Conclusion: Accommodation training may reduce perceived low-back discomfort in females. Trunk muscle activity and lumbar spine postures during seated office work on an SB did not differ between groups; however, greater sample power was required to conclusively address these variables. Application: Regarding whether to use an SB in place of a standard office chair, this study indicates that females electing to use an SB can decrease discomfort by following an accommodation protocol; no evidence was found to indicate that SB chair use will improve trunk strength or posture, even following an accommodation period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 55, no 6, 1064-1076 p.
Keyword [en]
sitting, low-back pain, spine biomechanics, office work, ergonomics, chair design, discomfort
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215927DOI: 10.1177/0018720813482326ISI: 000328698000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-215927DiVA: diva2:689108
Available from: 2014-01-20 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2014-01-20Bibliographically approved

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