The idea behind Gaiam custom fit balance ball chair is the customization. The classic Gaiam chair is a standard but it does lack some flexibility – too tall or too short people will understand that (original Gaiam yoga ball is for people between 5ft and 5ft 11 inches).
The customization of Gaiam custom fit chair also allows you to increase intensity for core strength. In fact, if you adjust the custom fit Gaiam chair to the maximum exercise level, it will have pretty much the same intensity as the Isokinetics ball chair (the one for active people in the office).
With Gaiam custom balance ball chair I wanted to combine the increased intensity of Isokinetics while also having the Gaiam’s stamp on it. This kind of lured me into buying Gaiam custom fit balance ball chair with an additional yoga ball. Yeah, I have to admit it was a mistake.
- It’s not that it isn’t adjustable. It is.
- It’s not that it doesn’t have a Gaiam stamp on it. It has.
- It’s just that Gaiam custom fit balance ball chair looks a bit minimalistic, and my office job is a bit too serious to be seen sitting on that.
But I guess that for a normal office day, Gaiam custom fit exercise ball chair should be great. I mean, if you like the look, just go for it. I went for a bit pricier exercise chair (it’s about $300 while Gaiam custom chair is below $100) because I like how it makes my spine feel and because it looks incredible – I’ll show you the exercise chair I’m talking about later on but let’s focus on the quick Gaiam custom fit balance ball chair review, shall we?
Gaiam Custom Fit Balance Ball Chair Review
Gaiam created a decent exercise ball chair that is a play on their original Gaiam’s balance ball chair. As I see it, seeing that their original chair was the most successful one in the industry, they tried to add the flexibility to adjust back support and height and created Gaiam custom fit balance ball chair.
- Increased intensity for core strength
- Relieves back pain
- Improves posture in as little as a week
- Protects against back, neck and shoulder pain
- Perfect for, well, people who like how it looks
- Minimalnistic design (some people might like that though)
- Not for elderly (they should start with lower intensity chair)
- It can feel a bit wobbly
I wouldn’t recommend it for myself though. Why? Two things.
#1 Gaiam Custom Fit Balance Ball Chair looks boring
Well, it is of minimalistic design, with 5 wheels, a steel work-frame, and a yoga ball. It’s actually quite nice to sit on but it doesn’t really have the aesthetic shock value you’re looking for. Your back will be thankful but you might be a bit embarrassed if anybody sees you sitting on it. But tastes are all relative, right?
#2 It is a bit wobbly
As you see from the photos of Gaiam custom fit balance ball chair, the yoga ball is placed directly on the frame. Original Gaiam’s chair tightly grips the yoga ball and keeps it in place.
The custom fit version chair doesn’t really grip the ball. This is why the ball is constantly wobbly when you are moving. The yoga ball kind of goes with you, if you know what I mean, and it is not an entirely good feeling. You have to stand up and fix the ball on top of the chair.
If you’re quiet as a mouse and don’t move much, then wobbling is not a problem. But for me personally, I like to jump around and dragging the custom fit version of Gaiam’s balance ball chair is not an idea of fun for me.
Gaiam Custom Fit Balance Ball Chair Intensity
Intensity settings are the bright side of this exercise chair. As you see on the scale from yoga ball intensity (+1) to office chair intensity (-1), I would give custom Gaiam’s fit chair the same intensity as for Isokinetics chair – between -0.2 and +0.3.
As you know if you follow my reviews, everyone’s first chair – the original Gaiam’s one – has the default intensity of 0. Gaiam’s custom fit chair enables you just that; you can customize it by adjusting the back support and leg support.
So, in short, if you customize it so that you will be most comfortable, the intensity you will experience in your core muscles will be somewhat less than with the original Gaiam’s. If, on the other hand, you want to increase the intensity and work out the back muscles and core more, you can just fit the chair so that it doesn’t feel that comfy at all – you have to work at it.
I love this because I’m kind of a morning person. I do most important things in before noon, and I always put the most intensity on during those hours. I am working and my core is working at the same time.
The easier jobs I leave for the afternoon and then I also like to relax my core a bit. It takes some seconds to adjust the leg support and you can relax the back muscles but just a bit. I’ve learned if I relax them too much, I get back pain again.
Features of Gaiam Custom Fit Balance Ball Chair
- Ball size: 55 cm (the yoga ball is actually a bit bigger than the standard 52 cm ball. This makes sitting more convenient for tall people)
- For 5’0″ to 5’11” height (If you are a guy, you might have problems with this one. However, even though the original Gaiam’s has the same characteristics, I (all a tall guy) find sitting on original version much more comfortable than on this one – it’s the difference in the design that makes all the difference)
- Lockable wheels (this is a good thing when you don’t want to move around. But locking each of the 5 wheels takes time and it is boring; I just feel that is an extra feature that no one really finds valuable)
- Adjustable leg and back support (this should be the main feature of this chair and, admittedly, leg support works great. Moving back support from one position to another is just a nightmare. I don’t know why Gaiam hasn’t addressed this problem yet)
- 300 lbs weight capacity (this is the industry standard, nothing new here)
- BONUS – Desktop stretching and strengthening guide (they kinda have to sell you this thing so they include some bonuses as well. Custom Gaiam’s comes with a guide which is ok, not really impressed by it, but it gets you to exercise more with your chair which is a good thing)
- BONUS – DVD with three 20-minute workouts and three ten-minute “express routines” (The same goes for this DVD; it does help you to start working out but eventually you figure out how to do it yourself or just google it)
Here is a more positive review. I would agree that it has all the benefits of a balance ball chair but I would opt for original Gaiam’s balance ball chair any day of the week. Here is a quick price comparison between Gaiam custom fit balance ball chair, Gaiam original chair, Isokinetics chair and Safco exercise chair:
Oh, My Chair!
Almost forgot to include my chair. You know, the one I’m sitting on.
Perfect office chair for me and my spine.
It’s called the Body Archer chair. Just look at it!