With the wide range of balance boards available today, selecting the best balance board for standing desk use can be a daunting task. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various types of balance boards suitable for different preferences and needs. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect addition to your standing desk routine.
We will discuss popular balance board options such as Whirly Board, StrongTek, Gaiam Evolve, Uplift Desk’s Bamboo, Yes4All Wobble Boards, and Revolutions 101 Sports Trainer balance board. Additionally, we’ll delve into the benefits of using a balance board at your standing desk – from improved posture to enhanced muscle growth.
Furthermore, addressing foot fatigue with anti-fatigue mats and ergonomic balance board designs will be covered alongside specialized uses for sports enthusiasts and injury recovery. Lastly, we’ll touch upon incorporating balance boards into corporate wellness programs to promote physical health and mental well-being among employees.
Health Benefits of Balance Boards for Standing Desks
The best balance board for standing desks offers numerous advantages, including improved posture, reduced pain and joint damage, engaged core muscles, higher caloric burns up to 20%, enhanced muscle growth, greater joint flexibility, and stretched legs. These ergonomic devices help users maintain good posture while staying active at their workstations.
Improved Posture and Reduced Back Pain
Using a standing desk with a standing desk balance board can significantly move weight capacity and improve postural stability compared to just standing on a flat surface. This leads to better spinal alignment which helps reduce back pain caused by poor posture. If you are new to standing desk use, look for general overview articles about the Benefits of a Standing Desk.
Engaged Core Muscles for Better Stability
- Better balance: Using a balance board engages your core muscles more than simply standing still or sitting down does. This increased engagement results in improved overall body stability.
- Muscle activation: The act of balancing on these boards requires constant adjustments from various leg muscles like calves, quads, hamstrings as well as abdominal muscles leading to an effective workout during office hours.
Balance Boards Increase Energy Expenditure Without Affecting Productivity
An article published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal suggests that using a balance board could potentially help individuals burn more calories and improve their cardiovascular health while working at a standing desk, without negatively impacting their work performance. The study found that using a balance board increased energy expenditure by approximately 16% compared to just standing, and by approximately 20% compared to sitting.
Understanding Standing Desk Balance Board Ergonomics
With all of these different form factors, what shape is best for you?
In terms of ergonomics, balance boards designed for standing desks aim to promote better posture, reduce sedentary behavior, and increase muscle engagement throughout the workday. However, different types of standing desk balance boards may offer different ergonomic benefits and have different considerations. Let’s examine them more closely.
Key Standing Desk Balance Board Ergonomic Factors
Understanding the key ergonomic factors associated with balance boards can significantly influence your decision-making process when choosing the best fit for your standing desk. Ergonomics, in essence, is the study and design of equipment that fits the human body and its cognitive abilities. In the context of the best balance boards here, we’ll consider several critical ergonomic aspects: the shape of the board, the standing surface, ease of fitting under a desk, positioning for different functions, barefoot use, movement degree, workflow impact, and health benefits.
Shape of the Board
The board’s shape affects its stability and the type of balance challenges it offers. For instance, rectangular boards are stable and a great balance board for beginners, while round boards can tilt in any direction for a more dynamic balance challenge.
This refers to the area of the board where users stand. An ergonomically designed surface for bare feet will be comfortable underfoot, have a non-slip grip for safety, and be wide enough to allow for various standing positions.
Ease of Fitting Under a Desk
Ideally, a balance board for a standing desk should be easy to move and store under the desk when not in use. The balancing board’s height, shape, and size are all factors that will affect this.
Positioning for Different Functions: Some balance boards can be positioned differently to vary the balance challenge. For instance, rocker boards can be rocked side-to-side or front-to-back, while wobble boards tilt in all directions.
Some users prefer using balance boards barefoot as it allows for better grip and balance. The standing surface should be comfortable and safe to use barefoot, without any sharp edges or rough textures.
Degree of Movement
This is determined by the board’s design and affects the intensity of the balance challenge. Boards with a higher degree of movement engage more muscles and provide a better workout but may be more challenging to use.
While balance boards can provide health benefits, it’s essential that they don’t disrupt work. Boards that require a high degree of balance and constant adjustments might be distracting, especially for beginners.
Health and Fitness Impact
All balance boards encourage more movement than just standing, but the degree to which they engage muscles, burn calories, and improve balance varies. More challenging boards can provide a better workout but might be too difficult or uncomfortable for some people.
Understanding these ergonomic factors will enable you to make an informed decision when choosing a balance board for your standing desk, considering your comfort, health, productivity, and the specific demands of your workday.
Popular Standing Desk Boards & Their Ergonomics
Each type caters to different needs and preferences, ensuring that you find one that suits your requirements perfectly. Here are some popular types of balance boards:
Stretching Board Ergonomics
Shape and Standing Surface: Stretching boards typically feature a rectangular shape and a flat standing surface, making them stable and excellent for beginners. They’re comfortable to use barefoot, encouraging better balance and grip.
Ease of Use and Positioning: These boards can easily fit under most standing desks due to their shape and size. While they are not designed for dynamic positioning, their flat surface provides a solid base for performing gentle stretching exercises.
Degree of Movement and Workflow Impact: The degree of movement with these boards is minimal, providing a low-intensity balance challenge. Consequently, they cause minimal interruption to workflow, ideal for those who prefer less distraction while working.
Health and Fitness Impact: Stretching boards are primarily designed for gentle muscle stretching, relieving tension, and improving flexibility, rather than intense workouts.
Overall Stretching Board Pros: These boards are designed to provide gentle stretching exercises, which can relieve muscle tension and improve flexibility. Their rectangular shape and the flat standing surface can easily fit under most standing desks. They are also comfortable to use barefoot.
Overall Stretching Board Cons: However, the degree of movement with these boards is minimal, so they may not provide as much of a workout as other types of balance boards. In terms of workflow, they provide minimal interruption, but also less of a challenge.
Example Stretching Board For Standing DeskS
Stretching boards, like StrongTek Professional Wooden Stretching Board, provide gentle stretching exercises to improve flexibility and relieve muscle tension.
StrongTek Professional Wooden Rocker Board is an example of a stretching-focused standing desk board.
Balance Cushion Ergonomics
Shape and Standing Surface: Balance cushions usually have a round shape with a soft, cushioned standing surface that’s comfortable to use barefoot. Their design is aimed at engaging core muscles and promoting better posture.
Ease of Use and Positioning: Being small and lightweight, they can easily fit under most desks. However, their round shape might require more careful positioning.
Degree of Movement and Workflow Impact: These cushions offer a moderate degree of movement, providing a subtle muscle engagement throughout the day without a significant impact on workflow.
Health and Fitness Impact: Balance cushions are more focused on posture correction and core engagement, and might not provide as intense a workout as some other balance boards.
Overall Balance Cushion Pros: Balance cushions offer a soft, cushioned standing surface that engages core muscles and encourages better posture. They are relatively small and lightweight, which makes them easy to position under a standing desk. Their instability helps with subtle muscle engagement throughout the day.
Overall Balance Cushion Cons: They don’t offer as much of a range of motion as other boards, which may limit their impact on overall fitness. While they can be used barefoot, some may find the surface too unstable for comfort.
Example Balance Cushion For Standing DeskS
Balance cushions, such as Gaiam’s Evolve Balance Board, engage core muscles while offering an unstable surface for better posture and muscle engagement.
Gaiam’s Evolve Balance Board is an example of a cushion-style product with subtle tilting features.
Rocker Board Ergonomics
Shape and Standing Surface: Rocker boards often have a rectangular shape with a smooth, non-slip surface that is comfortable for barefoot use. The curved bottom allows for a rocking motion, engaging different muscle groups.
Ease of Use and Positioning: They’re generally designed to fit under most standing desks, and can be positioned for different functions, such as side-to-side or front-to-back rocking.
Degree of Movement and Workflow Impact: They allow for more movement than stretching boards or many balance boards with cushions, which could potentially impact workflow if not used responsibly, especially for balance board beginners.
Health and Fitness Impact: By offering more dynamic movement, rocker boards help improve balance, engage core muscles, and may offer a mild to moderate fitness benefit.
Overall Rocker Board Pros: Rocker boards allow for more movement than stretching boards or balance cushions, improving balance and core strength. They’re designed to fit under most standing desks, and they can be positioned for different functions, such as side-to-side or back-and-forth rocking. Most have a smooth surface that’s comfortable to use barefoot.
Overall Rocker Board Cons: The increased movement can potentially impact workflow if not used responsibly, especially for people new to balance boards. However, with regular use, many find that they adjust and are able to maintain productivity.
Example Rocker Board For Standing Desk
Rocker boards, like Uplift Desk’s Bamboo Rocker Board, allow users to rock back-and-forth or side-to-side for low impact activities during their standing desk routine.
The Uplift Desk’s Bamboo Rocker Board offers side-to-side tilting while working at a standing desk.
Wobble Board Ergonomics
Shape and Standing Surface: Wobble boards usually feature a round shape with a slightly domed base. The surface can vary, but non-slip surfaces are common for safety. Some users might find the surface uncomfortable for barefoot use due to the high degree of tilt.
Ease of Use and Positioning: Due to the spherical base, wobble boards may not fit as easily under a desk. Their design allows for multiple positioning, tilting in all directions for a more challenging balance workout.
Degree of Movement and Workflow Impact: With their high degree of movement, wobble boards provide a full workout and engage more muscles. The constant adjustment required can potentially disrupt workflow, especially for beginners.
Health and Fitness Impact: Wobble boards have a significant positive impact on health and fitness, as they engage a wide range of muscles and offer a comprehensive balance challenge.
Overall Wobble Board Pros: Wobble boards offer the highest degree of movement, providing a full workout and engaging more muscles. They have a significant positive impact on health and fitness and can be used in a variety of positions.
Overall Wobble Board Cons: This type of board may not fit as easily under a desk due to its spherical base, and the constant movement can be disruptive to workflow, especially for beginners. Furthermore, while some people enjoy using wobble boards barefoot, others may find the surface uncomfortable due to the high degree of tilt.
Example Wobble Board For Standing Desk
The Yes4All Wooden Wobble Board, with its 360 degree tilt angle and full rotation capability, is wooden board perfect for experienced balance board users looking to challenge themselves further while working.
The Yes4All Wobble Board tilts and rotates in all directions and can be used while working.
Roller Board Ergonomics
Shape and Standing Surface: Roller boards often feature a rectangular shape with a non-slip cushioned surface, comfortable and safe for barefoot use.
Ease of Use and Positioning: Due to their design, they might not fit as easily under a desk. They can be positioned for different balance challenges depending on the user’s proficiency.
Degree of Movement and Workflow Impact: Roller boards require constant movement and adjustment, providing a significant challenge to balance and agility. This dynamic motion can potentially impact workflow more than other types of balance boards.
Health and Fitness Impact: They provide a unique balance challenge that can significantly improve agility and balance, offering a significant fitness benefit.
Roller Board Pros: Roller boards offer a unique challenge that can significantly improve balance and agility. The non-slip cushioned surface is comfortable to use barefoot, and they can offer a significant fitness benefit.
Roller Board Cons: However, due to their design, they might not fit as easily under a desk. The constant movement they require can also be distracting and may impact workflow more than other balance board types.
Example Roller Board For Standing Desk
Roller boards, like the Revolution 101, feature a non-slip cushioned wood surface and require multiple foot muscles engagement, making them fantastic for improving balance and agility.
The Revolution 101 is for more advanced users who want a more extreme approach to balance training while working.
Whirly Board Ergonomics
Shape and Standing Surface: Whirly Boards have a unique shape that accommodates a range of movements. Their surface is typically smooth and comfortable for barefoot use.
Ease of Use and Positioning: Depending on the model and desk height, they may fit under a desk. The boards can be used with or without a Stabilizer Ring, offering different balance challenges.
Degree of Movement and Workflow Impact: Whirly Boards offer a combination of movements that can be a little disruptive to workflow until the user becomes accustomed to the movement.
Health and Fitness Impact: With the variety of movements they provide, Whirly Boards engage multiple muscle groups, offering excellent fitness benefits.
Whirly Board Pros: Whirly Boards offer a combination of movements, making them a versatile choice. They provide excellent muscle engagement and fitness benefits. The ability to use with or without a Stabilizer Ring gives users the option to modify the level of challenge.
Whirly Board Cons: The multiple movement options could be a little disruptive to workflow until the user becomes accustomed to the movement. In terms of fitting under the desk, it depends on the specific model and desk height, but generally, it’s manageable. The best option is to purchase the Stabilizer Ring and a Standing Desk Mat, giving you the best traction and adjustable difficulty levels.
Whirly Board Wooden Balance Board
The Whirly Board Wooden Balance Boards are specifically designed for multiple uses, including standing desk use. The Whirly Board combines all of the movements of the other fantastic balance board styles, allowing for stretching your feet and legs, rocking side to side, 360 degrees of tilting, and can be used with or without a Stabilizer Ring to give users the option of difficulty levels.
Check out the full breakdown of the Whirly Board design and why it could be a great fit for standing desk and multiple other uses.
In term of standing desk use, the most popular model is the Wide Board in Teton Cork.