Aaron Karns, M.A.
Updated May 7, 2020
For over twenty-five years Gaiam has been an industry leader in all things yoga. From yoga mats, yoga props, yoga clothing, yoga accessories, and fitness and yoga DVDs - Gaiam is at the forefront. In a brilliant move, Gaiam decided to use their expertise in yoga accessories to provide an active sitting solution for the office. The High Rise Balance Ball Stool by Gaiam can help to provide all-day ergonomic support and an engaged core. Sitting on the stool may help to improve your posture and spinal alignment, making for a healthier back. It is important to engage your core and have proper spinal alignment to proactively avoid back pain. If you are intrigued then read on to see what we have to say about our experience in the Gaiam High Rise Balance Ball Stool Review.
Delivery & Assembly
Gaiam aims to ship all orders within 2-3 business days. Our High Rise Balance Ball Stool shipped on a Tuesday and we received it on Thursday. In our opinion, that is impressively fast shipping. Gaiam ships to addresses in the US, U.S. Territories, and U.S. military installations. Packages may be shipped by a variety of carriers. Ours shipped FexEx ground. The shipping weight is right around 20lbs. There should be no problem lifting the box and bringing it into your office.
The High Rise Balance Ball Stool was fairly easy for us to set up. It had an assembly time of about eight minutes. There is a total of 12 parts that are included. That may sound like a lot but a few of those parts are assembly tools and the manual air pump. There are only six basic steps required to assemble the stool.
First, we set the base on the floor and pressed into place the five plastic castor wheels. If you have wood floors like we do you may want to upgrade the casters. In the second step, we righted the base and castor assembly so that the wheels were on the floor. Then we set the air piston in place. The metal ring, that is the footrest, then was slid into place at the base of the piston. In the third step, we install a chunky bolt into the metal footrest that locks it in its desired position. We didn't initially screw it down tight enough. Later, when we were testing it out, the foot rest suddenly dropped a couple of inches when the user put some bodyweight on it. It was a little bit of a surprise, but not a big deal at all. Just make sure the bolt is nice and tight and you'll be fine. In the third step, we also installed the plastic sleeve over the air piston. Its main function is likely to prevent pinch points when lowering the stool. In the fourth step we turned our attention to assembling the seat. We cheated and used a power drill to attach the metal bracket to the bottom of the seat with four screws. Step five was pretty simple. Just set the assembled seat onto the top of the assembled base. The final step is to use the manual pump to fill the dome-shaped balance ball seat with air. Using the supplied pump, insert it into the inflation hole in the center of the seat. Inflate the seat to the desired height and firmness, taking care not to over inflate. With that will be ready to start enjoying your new High Rise Balance Ball Stool.
Warranty & Guarantee
Gaiam takes customer service very seriously. When you buy from them they want to make sure you are completely satisfied with the product. If you are not totally satisfied contact their customer service department and they will make it right. If you purchase straight from Gaiam's website then all products are backed by their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. The guarantee does NOT apply to purchases made through any other retailers like Amazon or Dicks Sporting Goods.
The Gaiam High Rise Balance Ball Stool is a clever take on the balance ball chairs. It uses the classic Gaiam yoga ball design and meshes it seamlessly with a standing desk stool. The balance ball half-dome seat is highly reactive and allows the user to enjoy making micro-movements to aid in core strength, posture, and circulation. The best way we can describe micro-movements is a slight swishing back and forth of the hips. We find that the seat generally allowed all of us to sit for 2.5-3 hours of uninterrupted active sitting. Typically a half hour change in position, either sitting or standing, would be enough. Something about the rounded seat makes it difficult to slouch. We have tested a number of active sitting chairs and standing desk stools. We find that on average we maintain our best posture the longest on the Gaiam stool. We also found that we use the footrest a lot more than we thought we would. It is a great additional feature to have on the stool and adds to the comfort level.
The overall weight of the Gaiam High Rise Balance Ball Stool is 19.84 lbs. The stool has a 23" minimum height and a 31" maximum height. That's almost a total travel of 8 inches! The height range is suitable for most sitting and standing desks. The seat is about 18" in diameter and metal ring footrest is about 16" in diameter. The stool can support up to 300 lbs.
The anti-burst, dome-shaped seat is made of a heavy-duty vinyl. It also happens to be latex-free. The base and casters are made of a high-grade PVC. The seat is available in two colors: black and granite. In our opinion, they're hardly different. We wish there were more color options. Gaiam has a lot of cool colors for their yoga balls. We feel as though they should offer those colors for the seat. It's a pretty minor complaint given all of the other positives though.
Sitting on the stool, we find that we are most comfortable sitting slightly behind the center. We also tend to place our feet just inside the footrest right next to the center of the chair. Another great option is to lock the wheels in place. Then, it's possible to lean or perch on the chair. The height is very easy to adjust. Simply lift up on the lever on the underside of the chair. Once the desired height is reached release the lever and enjoy your new active sitting position. To increase the height you can get completely off the chair and depress the lever. Or, you can put enough weight on your feet that the stool moves up while the lever is depressed. The footrest can also change heights to suit your individual active sitting needs.
You can always count on Gaiam to bring amazing fitness related products to the market. The High Rise Balance Ball Stool is no exception. First, the stool is made out of very high quality and durable materials. Second, it is built to be suitable for both sitting and standing desks. Lastly, the ingenious design helps to encourage micro-movements which may help to engage your core and improve your posture and circulation.
Would we recommend that you buy this stool? We have given it a lot of consideration. We have compared it to a lot of other stools. It's worth making this point again; the design of the chair makes it very difficult to slouch. We also really like the micro-movements that the stool's design allows for. Add that to the competitive price of $102 and the answer is a no-brainer. Yes, we would strongly recommend the Gaiam High Rise Balance Ball Stool.