What is a Wobble Cushion?

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What is a Wobble Cushion?

Wabble cushions are small, round inflatable cushions that are strong enough to sit on or stand on. Wobble cushions are created the wobble effect to allow your core muscles to be engaged while sitting. It is generally used on hard surfaces and should not be used on soft surfaces like couches because of the temptation to slouch. Sitting on them can be an effective way to practice balancing without putting pressure on your knees or feet. You can also use them as an alternative to standing up when practising balance!

A wobble cushion is an inflatable cushion that creates instability. The unstable surface of a wobble seat encourages you to engage your back and core muscles to keep your balance. Children with Sensory Processing or Sensory Processing Impairment also use wobble cushions for proprioceptive and tactile sensory input.

As a chiropractor who has treated back pain, posture problems, and weak cores for 30 years, I wrote this article about what you should look for in a wobble cushion. The following tips will help you avoid any potential exacerbations of back pain while sitting. Follow my simple recommendations in this blog to get all of the facts before considering a wobble cushion.

How Do Wobble Cushions Work?

black round wobble cushion

When you sit on an inflatable cushion, it’ll wobble and encourage you to use your back muscles. You can also lay the cushion out flat if that’s more comfortable for whatever exercise or activity!

While a wobble cushion feels like sitting on a therapy ball, it’s much more portable. The instability helps to engage your core muscles while improving posture and stability. Wobble cushions are great for people who want to exercise while sitting down! They make you constantly adjust your position, which is an excellent way of keeping the blood flowing. Wobbles also help with posture and coordination by making it difficult to slouch or just sit still in one spot. 

The purpose of wobble cushions is not to provide comfort! They are supposed to be uncomfortable and unstable to make you sit up straight – they will never be as comfortable as slouching!

Are Wobble Cushions Good for Back Pain?

The Pros of Wobble Cushions for Back Pain:

It is crucial to consider Wolff’s Law (Use it or lose it) for your core muscles and joints. Muscles will respond to the cessation of use if they are not used. Muscles become weaker as we sit so much with most of our back musculature disengaged in a chair, giving us an understanding of why this would be such a global problem today- spines weakened from sitting too long, causing pain all over!

The fact that wobble cushions incorporate movement when sitting is appealing to me. The downside of a wobble cushion is that you may want to avoid it if you are suffering from back pain.

Here are my alternative recommendations if you are considering buying a wobble cushion and suffer from back pain:

man sitting on latex posture cushion wedge

A Natural Latex Seat Cushion offers stability, comfort, resiliency, and alignment, making it the ideal seat cushion.  Make sure that your natural latex seat cushion has the following items:

  • An ergonomically contoured wedge cushion helps to improve your comfort and posture. 
  • 8-13 degree angle slope
  • High-quality base foundation foam (+96 kg/m3)
  • Soft top comfort layer (56-68 kg/m3)
  • 4D stretchy cover
  • Non-slip bottom cover

The Problem with Wobble Cushions for Back Pain:

My experience treating back and neck pain for 30 years has taught me that spinal instability contributes significantly to pain in the shoulders, back, and neck. Imagine your spinal discs as the tyres of your car. Low air pressure will cause your tire to become unstable and might cause micro-movements. Similarly, if a spinal disc is losing height, instability while sitting will trigger pain responses in the surrounding joints.  

While seated, your spine should be stabilized, and movement should come from the hips if you have back pain. Your hips have ball-and-socket joints for movement and loading.

As a chiropractor who has treated back pain, posture problems, and weak cores for 30 years, I wrote this article about what you should look for in a wobble cushion. The following tips will help you avoid any potential exacerbations of back pain while sitting. Follow my simple recommendations in this blog to get all of the facts before considering a wobble cushion.

Wobble Cushions for Children Sensory Processing or Sensory Processing Impairment

Children who naturally seek sensory stimulation will get more focused by reducing fidgeting and concentrating on their tasks. Some wobble cushions are often smooth on one side and have raised dimples on the other for additional sensory input. In sitting correctly and adequately, the instability of the child’s wobble cushion reduces strain on joints and ligaments, which in turn improves proprioception.

The air in your wobble cushion can be inflated to the desired intensity to ensure that the child sits comfortably. Overinflation causes the cushion to bulge, and it loses its shape.

How to Use a Wobble Cushion

It is an effective and fun way to exercise your core muscles by sitting on a wobble cushion. It is not a good idea to sit on it after sessions for too long either, since sitting all day will not help you. Nevertheless, it is recommended you not occupy it for more than fifteen minutes at once.

What to Look For in a Wobble Cushion

If you are considering purchasing a wobble cushion, you should consider the following factors:

  • When you sit on a wobble cushion, it should not be too hard or soft. 
  • Cushions should be made from flexible Polyurethane or PVC-free materials.  
  • Avoid toxic materials.  
  • You should not over-inflate the cushion – it requires enough air to wobble when you sit or stand on it. 

 Wedge Wobble Cushions

blue inflatable wobble cushion wedge

The cushion tilts the pelvis forward, increasing the inward curve of the lower back, and encouraging a straighter posture. With improved posture and dynamic sitting with a wedge cushion, you can sit for long periods and stay focused as body awareness is improved and the need to fidget is reduced.

Conclusion

While I cannot recommend wobble cushions for back pain, they may be a valuable tool for anyone trying to balance hard surfaces, but they can also be used in other ways. For those of you who want to use your wobble cushion as a way to practice balancing or core strengthening without putting pressure on your knees or feet, we recommend sitting on it instead of standing up while practising. They can also be used as an alternative when practising balance and not wanting to put the weight down onto soft surface like couches!

If you’re looking for some more ergonomic information about how best to handle seating arrangements at work that will keep everyone comfortable and safe from injury (including yourself!), then make sure to visit our blog, where there’s plenty of great advice experts just waiting for you.

 

**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

 

Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

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