Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Use of fitballs at UWA

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

These guidelines provide a brief description of fitball usage in an office environment for staff at UWA.

The fitball, (also known as swiss ball or exercise ball) has been used by physiotherapists for more than twenty years as part of their routine therapeutic and conditioning programs. They are now common in many gyms and health clubs and most recently have been marketed as an alternative to the standard office chair in the workplace.

UWA Safety and Health does not actively encourage nor discourage the use of fitballs. It is acknowledged, based on experience that some staff report significant benefits in using a fitball when working at computers.

The fitball can be used to provide postural breaks and a chance to undertake some mobilization and stretches for your back whilst you are working at the computer. It is not a substitute for a correctly adjusted ergonomic chair. Safety and Health recommend the use of a height-adjustable fitball chair in preference to the use of a fitball on its own. The stool offers the same benefits of a fitball, with the added benefits of stability and adjustability. If you are not satisfied with your current chair and would like to be recommended a new chair, please request an ergonomic seating assessment.