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I'm 6' tall with long limbs and currently slouch way to much while coding all day at my desk. I can't switch to a standing desk very easily so I would like to try sitting on an exercise ball.

What measurements should I use to determine which size ball I should purchase?

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If this were a question about the proper size ball for exercise it would be squarely on topic. –  Berin Loritsch Sep 22 '11 at 12:18
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

This depends on a couple of factors such as how tall your desk is and at what hight will you be able to have proper wrist position. When I purchased an exercise ball for this purpose, I would go to the store and get the biggest one they had (I'm 6'3"). This usually ended up being 30 inches (75cm) in diameter. I would suggest you do the same thing and get the biggest one they have for sale. If it ends up being too big, you can always deflate it to make it the right height.

Just a personal note: Keep the pump handy that comes with the exercise ball. I usually had to re inflate it once every couple months. Also keep any cats with claws away or you'll end up with a sore tail bone when your exercise suddenly deflates.

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As follow up, I got the 75cm ball and used it today. I definitely bounced on it a lot while working which added some extra activity to my day in front of the LCDs. –  Darren Newton Jun 3 '11 at 19:36
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I was looking for a general guideline as I am to purchase an exercise-ball online. According to this article:

Knees should be level or slightly lower than the pelvis - creating an angle of 90 degrees or slightly greater at the hips and knees (thighs parallel to ground or pointing down slightly).

They also give a general guideline on choosing the ball for your height, if you are heavier than average you have to take that into account, too: (cm added by me).

45 cm       5' and under    | up to 152.5cm
55 cm       5'1"– 5'8"      | up to 172.5cm  
65 cm       5'9"– 6'2"      | up to 188cm
75 cm       6'3"– 6'7"      | up to 200.5cm  
85 cm       6'8" and taller | above 200.5cm

You shouldn't buy a ball that is too big for you:

Bear in mind, releasing air from the exercise ball will cause it to lose air pressure. As the ball flattens out, this will actually make it more stable, as it has a larger contact area with the resisting surface and the body. This means that stabilizing and balancing exercises will become easier and will lose some effectiveness.

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