A few years ago, very few people would have believed that an office job could be hazardous to one's health. What could go wrong when someone is sitting at a desk for eight hours a day?
Research shows that office work actually poses quite a few potential health risks, including an increased chance of developing obesity, musculoskeletal disorders, heart disease, and diabetes.
One way to stave off these risks is to make your workspace more ergonomic with tools like standing desks and balance boards.
Read on for some tips on how to choose the best balance board for your workspace.
What is a Balance Board?
A balance board (sometimes known as a wobble board) is a tool you can use on its own or while working at a standing desk.
A balance board has a dome-shaped base that lets you tip back and forth and tilt the board in a 360-degree pattern.
Athletes, people with arthritis, and people recovering from injuries often rely on balance boards to help improve their stability and speed up their recovery. Many office workers also find them to be beneficial for relieving back pain and strengthening muscles in the lower body.
Benefits of Using a Balance Board
Some of the greatest benefits that come with using a balance board while working at a standing desk include:
Constant Core Engagement
When you're standing on a balance board, you have to use your core muscles to stabilize yourself. Otherwise, you'll tip right over.
If you're working in a typical office setting, it's easy to go the whole day without really engaging your core -- with the help of a balance board, though, you can strengthen these often-neglected muscles.
In addition to helping you get a stronger, more defined midsection, using a balance board can help relieve lower back pain, something more than one-quarter of office workers struggle with.
Micro Exercise Opportunities
Many people who use a standing desk find themselves fidgeting quite a bit during the day. There's nothing inherently wrong with a little fidgetiness, but if you find that it's keeping you from getting your work done, a balance board can be a great addition to your workspace.
Balance boards allow you to get your energy out in a more productive way. They also help you burn more calories during your workday.
If you ever catch yourself nodding off at your desk in the middle of the day, a balance board might be just what you need. There's no way you can fall asleep while you're standing on one!
Using a balance board keeps your blood flowing more efficiently. This, in turn, can help you stay alert and focused, which is great for your overall office productivity.
How to Choose the Best Balance Board
At this point, you're probably interested in trying out a balance board. But, how do you choose the best one?
These tips can help choose the perfect balance board for your workspace.
Choose the Right Deck Size
The deck -- the part of the balance board that you stand on -- should suit your height. Taller people will typically do better with a deck that is longer and wider. Shorter people, on the other hand, can benefit from a narrower deck.
Choose a Board That's Easy to Store
It's best if you keep your balance board in your office at all times. That way, you won't have an excuse not to use it.
Since it's going to be in your office day and night, try to find a board that is lightweight and easy to store when it's not in use. That way, no one will accidentally trip over it or misplace it.
Find a Low-Impact Board
Some balance boards are designed for high-impact workouts. If you want to use one of these off the clock, go for it. But, for office work, a low-impact board is best.
Remember, the goal is for you to just move around a bit while you work and improve your posture. You shouldn't be trying so hard to stabilize yourself that you can't focus on your job.
Choose the Right Height
It's also important to make sure your balance board matches the height of your desk. If you can't easily reach your keyboard, you're going to have a hard time using both the board and the desk simultaneously (which kind of defeats the purpose of having a balance board at the office).
Keep Your Budget in Mind
You don't need to buy the cheapest balance board in the store, but you also don't necessarily need the Ferrari of balancing tools. Look for a board that fits your budget.
You'll still reap the same physical and productivity-related benefits, no matter how you paid for it.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have joint pain or other physical limitations, check with your doctor before you start using a balance board at work.
Your doctor may not recommend balancing exercises if there's a chance you could fall and hurt yourself or make your condition worse.
Check the Noise Level
Finally, be sure to take noise into account.
Some balance boards can be quite squeaky or noisy, and your coworkers will not appreciate hearing you rock back and forth on it all day. To avoid being "that person," check the noise level of your board at home before you bring it to work.
Unless you have a private office, it's best to look for a balance board that is silent and won't disrupt the people who work around you.
Get Your Balance Board Today
If you're ready to start taking control of your health and making your workspace more ergonomic, investing in a standing desk and balance board is a great place to start.
Now that you know what to look for when choosing the best balance board for your needs, it's time to start shopping.
Check out our online store today to find a variety of balance boards, as well as many other tools that you can use to significantly improve your office ergonomics.