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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
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Uppsala University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2939-0236
University of Waterloo, Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.
Wilfrid Laurier University, Health Sciences Program and Department of Kinesiology.
University of Waterloo, Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Human Factors, ISSN 0018-7208, E-ISSN 1547-8181, Vol. 55, no 6, p. 1064-1076Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a nine-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 to 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.

Methods: Six males and six females completed two separate, two-hour sitting sessions on an SB.  Half the participants completed a nine-day accommodation period between the visits while 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: When deciding whether to use an SB in place of a standard office chair, this study indicates females electing to use an SB can decrease discomfort by following an accommodation protocol; no evidence was found to indicate SB chair use will improve trunk strength or posture, even following an accommodation period. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 55, no 6, p. 1064-1076
Keywords [en]
sitting, low back pain, spine biomechanics, office work, ergonomics, chair design, discomfort
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-13864DOI: 10.1177/0018720813482326ISI: 000328698000003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84890820056OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-13864DiVA, id: diva2:606825
Available from: 2013-02-20 Created: 2013-02-20 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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