A balance board that’s backed by science.
I spend a lot of time sitting behind a computer. If I’m not writing a review, I’m editing photographs. With all that sitting comes a lot of stiffness. I suffer with some chronic pain issues already and sitting for long periods of time doesn’t usually help the issue. I was grateful when Apple released the feature on Apple Watches that encourages you to stand every hour. I try to follow that as much as I can, but just standing behind my desk comes with its own set of problems. I find my lower back aching more and my knees, which are plagued with arthritis are stiffer than usual after I stand for a while. So what should a person in my predicament do? I recently heard about the FluidStance Balance Board and thought it sounded like something I could easily add into my daily routine.
The Balance Board is designed for someone to use while working at a standing desk. The board is omnidirectional and designed to tilt from side to side and front to back. It’s just enough of a wobble to keep your burning calories but not so much that it’s distracting while you work. The science behind the board helps users burn calories, expand their range of motion, and raises their heart rates to increase their overall health. There are a few different versions of the FluidStance balance board — the Level, the Original, and the Plane Cloud. The Level is the version I was able to test out. It’s made in the U.S.A. It’s created from die-cast, military-grade aluminum that is powder coated for durability. The ‘board’ is a half-inch thick piece of bamboo or maple. The board is usually referred to as a ‘deck’ by FluidStance and it measures 26.5” long x 12.2” wide x 2.5” tall — about the size of a skateboard. It weighs approximately 7 lbs 12 oz and is recommended for users under 300 pounds.
The FluidStance Level Balance Board comes in a fairly nondescript cardboard box. It’s plain, but it does have “FluidStance” printed on it. It’s a larger box and because the board weighs close to 8 pounds, it can be a little awkward to carry around. I don’t plan on keeping the box to store the board in and thankfully FluidStance sends a canvas drawstring bag along with it for transporting the board around. Since I work from home 100% of the time, transportation of the board isn’t that big of an issue to me, but I could see some users wanting something more than the drawstring bag to carry it. Therefore, having something like a duffle bag style case might be a little easier to carry around.
There is no assembly or set-up required to use the board. You simply take it out of the box and step on it. This is one of the things I like so much about the Level board. It’s a simple product. There are so many ‘smart’ products out there today that it’s nice to just have a physical product that helps with a standard problem and you don’t have to connect an app to it or make sure it’s charged before you use it. For me, I simply slid my desk chair away from my desk, raised the desk up, and then stepped on the board. I was able to balance quite easily with my hands resting on the desk/keyboard and I’ve noticed that there are certain parts of my body that don’t hurt as much at the end of the day. I use the board whenever my Apple Watch tells me to stand up. So, I’m using it for approximately 10 minutes each hour.
After I started seeing some benefits of the Level board, I had my fiance try it out, too. She was using it on a carpet and I had been using it on a plastic chair mat. She said she noticed right away how comfortable it was to stand on the board versus just standing on the flat ground. She also has an electric standing desk and periodically throughout the day, she stands for a few minutes at a time just to get the stiffness worked out in her legs. She loves how easy it was to stand on the balance board and how it didn’t really affect her work productivity. She was still able to work while using the board and at the end of the day she felt better than when she sits all day. In addition to trying it on the carpet, I had her try the board on my chair mat. She said that it definitely felt different to her, but it was still easy to use.
The Level balance board from FluidStance might be my favorite non-electric thing in our house now. It’s really helped both my fiance and I feel better than we were when we weren’t using it and it’s such an easy thing to incorporate into your daily routine. The only drawback to the board is its price. The Level starts at $249 and the Original is $439. These boards are built with premium materials and they definitely feel exclusive and sturdy, but I could see the price being a roadblock for some people when there are other balance boards (of lesser quality) available. I would recommend making the investment in the Level Balance Board. It’s a great product.