I know in my soul that I can’t be the only one who developed a serious slouch some time between March and now. Prior to then, my posture was perfect, but months of working from home—while laying in bed, lounging on the couch or curled up on a comfy chair—have seriously taken a toll on my back. Eager to make a change, I did some research and settled on what I thought would be the best option (and, admittedly, the cheapest): the Gaiam Balance Disc. Now, I’m spilling the tea so you can decide if you need it, too.
When the disc arrives, it looks like a deflated exercise ball, a little larger than a basketball. It comes partially inflated, and you can decide whether you’d like to leave it as is or pump it up fully for a super bouncy feel. I kept it how it came and immediately placed it on my chair—which is the reason I like this product so much. There’s no stress about setup; I just put it on whatever chair I’m using and I’m good to go. I didn’t have to buy an actual stability ball chair or anything massive like that.
As for what it does, basically, the Gaiam Balance Disc provides instability that requires you to engage your core as you sit, thereby improving your posture and preventing you from slouching. It’s impossible for me to sit on this thing and then hunch over my laptop on the desk in front of me. It isn’t so unstable that I’m uncomfortable, though. It provides just enough of a change to not only make me feel the need to sit differently, but also to keep the concept of posture top of mind.
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Honestly, I think that’s definitely part of it. Because I have something under me, I’m reminded that I’m supposed to be working on my posture. In that way, it’s almost like a placebo—it’s not solely the disc making me sit up straight, but also the feeling of the disc reminding me that that’s my goal, thereby encouraging me to do so. It’s definitely a mix of mental and the actual destabilization at work, but either way, it’s working.
Gaiam also claims the seat can be used when doing seated or standing strength and balance exercises. They also suggest it as a meditation cushion, great for anytime you’re sitting on the floor and need some extra support. I can definitely see myself meditating with it (and if I ever work out again, perhaps it’ll come in handy then, too) but my main goal is to improve my posture, because who knows how much longer we’ll be working from home.
I’m not the only one pleased with their Gaiam Disc purchase, either. The product is Amazon’s number one best-selling balance board, with a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars and over 5,000 reviews. My favorite is from a user named Cathy M., who gave some thorough feedback that, so far, I totally agree with: “Ok, you have got to take it slow in the beginning. I bought this on the recommendation of my chiropractor to help boost my core while sitting at my life killing desk seat 9 hours a day. It’s kind of fun, you sit and wobble around a bit, feels pretty good on the butt. After the first hour of wiggle butt I got up to stretch and get some water, and my core was like wet spaghetti. You may not feel it, but you are getting a little muscle work out while you stare at your screen. So start out slow, maybe 15-30 minutes a session.”
If you’re struggling with posture (whether or not, like me, you’re blaming it on your new WFH lifestyle) the Gaiam Balance Disc is a small, affordable way to ensure your core is engaged and remind you to sit a little straighter. 10/10, in my book.