Considering a Swiss Ball, sizing & its benefits

May 06, 2023 4 min read

Escape ball with  girl doing exercise

Why is it called a Swiss ball?

The phrase "Swiss ball" came about because one of the exercise ball's early known use occurred in 1965 in Switzerland, where a team of physical therapists utilised it while working with children who had cerebral palsy. Other names for the workout ball include gym ball and gymnic ball.


What is a Swiss ball and its benefits?

They are used for rehabilitation and fitness, and work by forcing the body to balance against the ball's instability, leading to greater muscle activation. This results in improved back and spine health, core stability, posture and muscle balance. Swiss balls are a popular and versatile piece of fitness equipment used in gyms, homes, physical therapy sessions and even the workplace. Also known as exercise balls, Stability balls, Physio balls, and balance balls, the purpose of the stability ball is to improve balance, muscle tone and core strength

Swiss balls are filled with air and come in a variety of sizes.

They are lightweight, durable, and inexpensive — but are they really effective? Here are some of the benefits of incorporating stability balls into your exercise routine:

 Benefits of using a Swiss ball

  • Improved core strength: Swiss balls challenge your core muscles in a way that traditional exercises cannot. When you sit, stand, or exercise on a Swiss ball, your core muscles have to work hard to stabilize your body. This helps to strengthen your core muscles and improve your balance.
  • Improved posture: Swiss balls can also help to improve your posture. When you sit on a Swiss ball, your spine is naturally in a more neutral position. This can help to reduce back pain and improve your overall posture.
  • Increased range of motion: Swiss balls can also help to increase your range of motion. When you exercise on a Swiss ball, you are forced to move in different ways than you would on a traditional surface. This can help to improve your flexibility and range of motion.
  • Improve balance: Simply sitting on a stability ball engages the stabilizer muscles in your core. Training on a ball forces your body to improve balance to complete the exercises, and can also be beneficial in keeping a healthy posture.
  • Reduced risk of injury: Swiss balls can also help to reduce your risk of injury. When you exercise on a Swiss ball, you are less likely to fall or lose your balance. This can help to prevent injuries such as sprains, strains, and falls.
  • Increased fun and motivation: Swiss balls are also a lot of fun to use, They can make exercise more enjoyable and motivating. This can help you to stick with your fitness routine and reach your goals.


Escape Steady ball 3 sizes for measuring

What size Swiss ball do I need?

The majority of exercise balls are relatively similar, making it easy to choose the perfect ball for you. Your only concern should be the ball's size, which should enable you to sit on it with your knees and hips at 90 degrees. You should have difficulty selecting the appropriate-sized ball for your height by using the table below.

A general guideline for height correspondence to diameter of exercise ball is as follows (this is assuming average body weight is proportional to height):

Exercise ball diameter Person's height
45 cm 5' and under
55 cm 5'1"– 5'8"
65 cm 5'9"– 6'2"
75 cm 6'3"– 6'7"
85 cm 6'8" and taller


If the body weight to height ratio is greater than the norm, sitting on the exercise ball will compress it more, so persons should try utilising the next larger exercise ball size to keep the 90-degree guideline. Another thing to bear in mind is that most exercise ball sizes are adjustable. If the hip and knee angles are significantly larger than 90 degrees, some air can be released to compensate, and vice versa.

Once you have decided on your ball size, choose from our comprehensive Swiss Ball  selection.

Sitting on a Swiss ball 

Besides being far cheaper than a treadmill or standing desk, or new ergonomic chair, some say that sitting on an exercise ball encourages you to keep your core engaged, making you stronger and burning extra calories in the process.

As the core body muscles must work to keep the body upright and balanced on the ball, even sitting still on an exercise ball counts as exercise. As an exercise ball is more stable when slightly deflated, it can be simpler to begin sitting on one if it is not entirely inflated.

Here’s how to sit on an exercise ball:

  • Sit in the center of the ball with both feet firmly on the ground about shoulder width apart. If it is difficult to balance on the ball, use a wider stance.
  • The knees should be at a 90-degree angle and in line over the ankles.
  • Shoulders should be in line over the body (not hunching forward) and the head squarely over the neck (not leaning forward)

One can easily sit on the exercise ball while working at a desk or computer workstation and use it as an alternative to a traditional office chair. Others prefer to sit on it while watching television. Whatever the use, sitting on an exercise ball at some point of the day is helpful to strengthen the core muscles that support the spine.

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