Gaiam Custom Fit Balance Ball Chair Review

I’ve started my path to back pain liberation with original Gaiam’s chair. First purchase was fantastic and I have to say I fell in love with Gaiam right away.

My second balance ball chair was Isokinetics ball chair. I started with increasing intensity as my wife Hellen suggested and found the adjustable Isokinetics model perfect.

gaiam custom fit balance ball chair review
Gaiam’s Custom Fit – Doesn’t look much, right?

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. Yeah, I have to admit it was a mistake.

Its not that it isn’t adjustable. It is.

Its not that it doesn’t have a Gaiam stamp on it. It has.

Its 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.

Now I use it at home office and it is great; I’m doing my Gaiam custom fit balance ball chair review sitting on this one but I gathered that many people want to buy an exercise chair for their office, and this one is not visually appealing to me.

It is a matter of opinion, of course. My wife Hellen doesn’t really know why I’m so shy to show it around. The this is, everybody in the office was absolutely amazed with my original Gaiam to the point that 3 guys actually went and bought it after testing it out. I got a ‘balance ball chair guy’ status going on and I didn’t want to risk my reputation by dragging Gaiam custom fit balance ball chair in the office.

gaiam custom fit balance ball chair office chair

It is Gaiam and you can adjust it as you want but I really don’t like the design. Sally, my daughter, also thinks it’s nothing special so I have that going for me which is nice.

I am a tidbit reluctant about making this Gaiam custom fit balance ball chair review because it’s basically sitting in my home office and nobody comes in here to see it but Hellen insisted on me doing balance ball review on chairs I don’t like that much as well.

‘Its the only way to stay objective,’ she said. So ok, I’m going to share my experiences with this particular yoga ball chair. (Just don’t buy it if you don’t like how it looks)

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.

I would recommend it 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.

#2 It is a bit wobbly

Gaiam Custom Fit Balance Ball Chair

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.

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.

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