Most Americans have to sit all day at work. In fact, the average office worker sits for about 10 hours – not including endless hours spent sitting in front of the TV or surfing the web at home. Add that to the eight hours of sleep you should be getting, that’s roughly 21 hours worth of being sedentary.
And now experts agree you should start standing at work for at least two hours a day – working your way up to four.
Being an editor for a tech blog hasn’t exactly been good for my waist line – or posture. As such, I’m a huge supporter of ergonomics and healthy work environments – usually splitting my time between standing, sitting in a chair, and sitting on my yoga ball. So for myself and a growing number of workers wondering how to combat the terrible health effects of prolonged sitting, there’s a new accessory to add to the mix.
A few weeks ago, I was asked to review the company’s latest balance board, the Plane. The little brother of the Level, the Plane offers the same benefits as the original, but in a smaller, eco-friendly package.
I’ve never used a balance board, so obviously I wanted to see what it was all about.
Anyone that knows me will tell you I’m somewhat of a spaz, and when my ADHD kicks in I become full-fledged fidgety. So when I first stepped onto the Plane, I was a bit wobbly and assumed I’d fall flat on my butt. I didn’t (though, admittedly, almost face-planted a few times, but that was from attempting a 360… more on that later).
It took less than a day to acclimate to the Plane. And now I seamlessly go between sitting and standing… and dancing.
Design and quality
The base is molded from high-molecular HDPE – one of the strongest recyclable plastics available – and the top deck is made of 100 percent recycled low-emitting rubber for both comfort and durability.
- 24” long x 12” wide x 2.5” tall
- Weight is just over 7lbs
- For use under 200lbs
With a gradual, gently curved bump, the board puts you on an uneven surface, which passively forces you to stand perfectly straight and use your core/leg muscles to stay balanced. In fact, I’m standing on one as I write this.
The only downside of the Plane is that, while touted as a “more portable” option, there isn’t a good place for you to grip underneath for one-handed carrying. Nor is there an accompanying bag so you don’t get dirty while transporting.
Overall, however, it feels extremely sturdy and I don’t feel as though I’m going to break it or fall off.
And I’ve had loads of people come up and ask to try it out. They stand on it, and inevitably try to spin. Which, by the way, is extremely satisfying and a well-deserved break in the monotony of the day. And it’s less distracting that you’d think… once you actually start to focus on working.
In the end, they all agree it’s a nice addition to any standing desk. And then they ask “how much?”.
When I tell people it costs $189, they’re shocked. But when you look closely at the product, it’s sturdy, well-designed, and built to last. And beyond that, there’s a level of expectation in the difference between your typical ‘balance board’ and a more premium product.
Most notably, FluidStance products include naturally sourced materials – of which the design is contingent upon.
Of course worth and value are difficult to determine. However, this little guy is easily within the budget of anyone who’s both addicted to ergonomics and saving the environment.
A lifelong purchase
While I do endure the awkward look from time to time, my health is definitely worth this one-time-investment, and I see no reason to stop using the Plane. It’s fun and keeps me moving – which is an added bonus for creativity. And unless something detrimental happens to the board (and trust me, we tried…. kick-flips be damned…), I can’t imagine needing to buy another one. It’s not like future models are really going to be vastly different.
Even though my fitness tracker still tells me to move when I’m on the board, I definitely feel as though it’s very beneficial for a myriad of reasons: align posture, relieve stiffness, alleviate boredom.
So if you have the money, and appreciate a device that will assist you in maintaining optimal health, the FluidStance Plane is worth a look.