Two and a half years in, I’m still happy with my standing desk. I stand about 90% of the time without lowering the desk to sitting level (though after Gen Con this year I did have to take a seat for a couple of days), and occasionally I’ll lower it slightly to use the Wobble Stool or Focal Upright stool. Recently I got to try another option, one that keeps me on my feet but makes me a little more active while I type: the FluidStance Level.
Originally funded on Indiegogo earlier this year, the Level is a balance board that keeps you in motion at your desk. The top is wood (bamboo or maple) and the bottom is an aluminum frame that’s rounded in the center and flattens out at the edges. There are four rubber bumpers, one at each corner, to keep the metal from scraping against the floor. (My loaner unit also included a thick acrylic mat to help protect my wood floors–I’ve been told that the Level is safe for floors but didn’t feel like risking it.)
The Level takes a little bit of getting used to, but it’s not so wobbly that you’ll be falling off. It just provides some wiggle room while you stand, allowing you to jostle around a little without lifting your feet. It does add a couple of inches to your height, so if you’re using it at your desk you may need to make adjustments to accommodate it. And I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it when you’re making precise movements, like playing a first-person shooter or editing images. But it’s fine for general office work like typing and using a mouse.
My kids (as you can see in the photos) have really taken to it as well. It reminds me a little bit of the Wii Fit board, though with a lot more movement. My kids like standing on it and “surfing” and twisting around. I swap it in for my cushioned mat occasionally and I can definitely feel a difference in my leg and back muscles after standing on it for a few minutes. I don’t have one of the Level Holsters, though, so I don’t have a good way to prop it out of the way when I’m not using it–right now I just place it (and the mat) off to the side of my desk, but it takes up a good bit of floor space there. The Holster or a stand of some sort would certainly make it easier to keep nearby.
The Level comes in three types, with prices ranging from $289 to $429, and the company has made an effort to use sustainable production practices in US-based facilities. For more information, visit the FluidStance website.