How can I reuse or recycle an exercise ball/posture ball chair?

exercise-ballJohn is very taken with the idea of getting an exercise ball to use when he wants a change from his desk chair in our new office. He’s used them at other people’s desks and he likes the idea of bouncing while he works.

I’ve always poo-poohed the idea because we have cats who like to stretch up against furniture then dig in their very long, very sharp claws – not exactly compatible with inflatable furniture – but a friend told us his cat did that too and it wasn’t a problem because the PVC plastic is so thick. Then suddenly, mysterious, he found himself sitting considerably lower in the chair thanks to a claw-sized slow puncture. Claws one, inflatable thing nil.

So we won’t be getting on now but what are the options for reusing an old exercise ball? A single puncture or two could probably be repaired with a bicycle puncture repair kit but if the problem is more systemic, it might not be worth repair – so what else can be done with it?

I suspect with a bit of handiwork, they could still be used as seats – filled with beanbag balls instead of air – but I wonder if the sliced up “skin” could be used for anything else too…

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13 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle an exercise ball/posture ball chair?”


  1. Fay says:

    Cut it in half, add a few more small holes for drainage, fill each half with earth and plant some vegetables – excellent for small gardens or getting kids interested in just seeing something edible grow.

  2. Amanda says:

    I would suggest cutting it up and using it for lining drawers and cupboards in the kitchen, because the plastic-y texture holds things pretty well. I’ve used store-bought plastic of the same thickness and texture to line many of my kitchen and bathroom drawers so utensils and my makeup bottles don’t slide around as much.

  3. louisa says:

    The skin could also be cut up to make mats for underneath planters around the home – protect surfaces from any leaks/spills and would also add a bit of non-stick grip so the pots wouldn’t get knocked off windows sills etc quite so easily.

  4. Ka says:

    Willie Wonka (that’s my daughter’s blue excercise ball’s name) just passed away, due to “unknown” reasons (I think daughter doesn’t want to get in trouble for pulling the artwork -along with the thumbtacks- off the wall). And after a rather akward situation (considering we were grieving the loss of a ball), she thought that it would be a good idea to reuse the material to upholster the furniture in the doll house and maybe make some rain hats for the bear family.
    (and yes, they all have funny names as well).

  5. I’m actually quiet surprised the cat was able to puncture through the exercise ball. I wouldn’t recommend trying to patch it up and then sitting on it again. If the ball is not SDS it could deflate very fast and cause injury.

  6. Olia says:

    Stuff it with cotton and use as pillow.

  7. Probably not worth it to fix. I agree with the post to use it as a liner for a planter – good idea!

  8. Melinda says:

    Depending on the size of the ball and the child, it would be the basis of a great halloween costume, with head and armholes cut in and an opening at the bottom.

  9. Pen says:

    I occasionally feel like a hoarder of things but I also hate to waste if it can be re-purposed for something else. I cut my exercise ball into a couple of good-sized rectangular pieces for my husband as a handy shop tool. Helps to grip things that are hard to turn. It also makes a great non-skid layer for when he has a hard time getting the cars’ tires up on the tire ramp as the garage floor is too smooth. He places that “mats” underneath the ramp to prevent it from skidding as the tires are rolled up the ramp.

  10. Lucy says:

    See http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/exercise-balls-recyclable-20069.html
    Apparently exercise ball PVC has some toxins/ health risks, so growing veggies in it may not be a good idea.

  11. Uluska says:

    Glue broken mirrors or mosaic tiles all over, apply grout and place the ball inside the flower bad as great garden decoration.

  12. Once you are more comfortable with the exercise ball you can move on to more advanced exercises:
    . I know this sounds easy but is will be harder than you can imagine.
    This program is a set of exercise with physical, sports and entertainment
    as a whole.



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