How to Use an Office Balance Board to Improve Your Productivity

How to Use an Office Balance Board to Improve Your Productivity

According to one report, only 12% of employees are completely productive at work, contributing more than six hours a day to their job-specific tasks. 

The reasons for this are varied, but your workspace can make a major difference. An ergonomic, well-designed office can boost productivity and help you push past that mid-afternoon slump. 

If you've already made the switch to a standing desk, you know how much you can gain when you don't stay sedentary all day. Now, why not maximize your output with an office balance board?

This accessory isn't just innovative and fun to use. It's actually effective. Balance boards activate your core, keep you engaged, and can even improve your focus.

Let's dive into how to use yours the right way. 

How Does an Office Balance Board Work?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let's answer a basic question: What is an office balance board and how does it work?

Put simply, these are boards that have a center support section, and two upturned sides. As you stand on them, you're forced to follow the natural motions they generate. Otherwise, you'll be thrown off balance and could wind up falling off. 

There are many different types of balance boards on the market, designed to replicate certain motions. For instance, some boards create the feeling of walking, requiring you to move your feet up and down to keep pace.

Others, called rocker boards, rock side-to-side or front-to-back. These require a little more skill, as the movement can seem unnatural at first. Then, there are bowl-shaped wobble boards that are designed to really challenge you.

Wobble boards have a curved center base and flat sides. Once you stand on them, you can go all the way around, tilting a full 360 degrees.

No matter which exact model you choose, the basic premise of a balance board stays the same. These tools keep your mind and body constantly activated and engaged. While you're working at your desk or on the computer, your lower half will gently and strategically move in rhythm with the board. 

Wait. You're already exhausted at work. Why would you want to add more movement to your day? Let's take a closer look at the benefits that a balance board can provide. 

Benefits of an Office Balance Board

There are many reasons to add a balance board to your office gear. This one piece of equipment can improve your overall health and well-being, as well as your performance at work. 

Here are a few of the top reasons to invest in one today.

Easy Workout

If you're like many employees, you're stretched so thin at work that squeezing in a workout at the end of the day feels like a pipe dream. While a balance board won't exactly replace a gym membership, it is a great way to maintain an active lifestyle. 

If your job keeps you near your desk most of the day, standing on a balance board allows you to burn some calories while you work. The subtle motion ensures that your core, lower back, and leg muscles are constantly engaged, giving you a surprisingly efficient lower-body workout. 

At the same time, you're also activating the smaller stabilizer muscles throughout your body. While these muscles aren't directly involved in any movement, they keep you steady while you move so your primary muscles can do their job. 

The benefits of working out are endless, boosting both your physical and mental health. When you stay active, you reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Exercise also reduces stress, boosts your mood, and helps you maintain a more positive outlook. 

The payoff for your employer? When you're feeling your best, you're much more likely to apply yourself at work. With continued use, you'll find that balance boards can improve your performance and alleviate symptoms of burnout

Improved Blood Flow

Think about it. How lethargic do you feel when you're lounging on the couch watching a movie? It would take most of us quite a bit of time to get revved up enough to go out for a run. 

When you're sedentary, your blood doesn't move throughout your body as easily or as frequently. Poor blood flow can make you feel tired and easily distracted. If you find yourself spacing out, daydreaming, or even napping at work, try using a balance board. 

Even though they're small, these motions get your blood pumping, which can improve your focus and productivity. It's more difficult to slip into that sleepy funk that tends to creep up on you and threaten your performance. 

Better Posture

It's easy to slouch when you're sitting in front of a computer. When you spend all day typing at a keyboard, you'll feel the effects in your neck and lower back, no matter how comfortable your office chair might be. 

Posture doesn't just refer to the way you look. It covers how well your musculoskeletal system is working to hold your body upright. This system includes your muscles, bones, joints, and tissues that connect the disparate parts of your body together. 

These elements give support, stability, and movement to your body. The way you hold yourself most of the time can either help or hurt them.

Poor posture wears your spine down over time, making it more fragile and prone to injury. You may notice chronic pain in your shoulders, neck, and back, as well as decreased flexibility and balance. 

The good news? It's nearly impossible to have poor posture while using a standing desk and balance board! If you slouch forward, you'll throw off your equilibrium, and that's a mistake you'll only need to make once. 

These boards distribute your weight evenly and regulate your spinal alignment. You'll notice that you'll have better posture and your back and neck pain will improve, which makes it easier to concentrate at work. 

Improve Focus

Did you know that the simple act of standing can send a signal to your brain that something urgent is going on? These signals are even stronger if you're working at the same time. 

This feeling of urgency can propel you to productivity. You'll feel more alert and on-task while standing at your computer, which keeps those tired feelings at bay. It suddenly becomes easier to concentrate, even on the fine-print details that typically elude you. 

The same can't be said about sitting in a non-ergonomic office chair all day. The more you sink into the supple fabric, the harder it becomes to focus on anything besides how sluggish you feel. This is how tasks go unfinished, deadlines get missed, and colleagues grow frustrated. 

We all need gentle nudges throughout the day to help us stay the course. A balance board activates your brain and your body at the same time, so you're always ready to perform. You can even find some with anti-fatigue mats to keep your feet comfortable as they move.

Enhance Ability to Multi-Task

No matter which industry you work in, you likely need to multitask on a regular basis. This can be something as complicated as juggling multiple projects at once. Or, it could simply mean updating a spreadsheet while checking your email in the background. 

Either way, it's not easy to do.

Scientists estimate that 98% of people can't multitask well. It's become more difficult to do as we're constantly bombarded by digital tech that demands our attention around the clock. 

Thus, it's no surprise that we lose track at work. We start reading an email, then we get a phone call, then a meeting request, and suddenly, it's 5:00 and we haven't gotten much work done. 

When you use a balance board, you're training your mind and body to do two things at once. Yet, it's simple. However, the more you practice, the better you'll get. 

Then, you can apply those skills to other areas in both your personal and professional life. It might not happen overnight, but you'll eventually find that it's easier to stay on-task and maintain concentration while you work, even as you take on multiple assignments at the same time. 

How to Use Your Balance Board

Now that we've discussed what balance boards entail and the benefits they provide, you're probably wondering how to use one! The simple answer is to slowly stand on the board, keeping your legs hip-width apart. 

Then, notice how the board moves underneath you and react accordingly. For example, if it tilts forward, then put your weight on the back of the board to counteract that motion. Before long, you'll get the hang of it and will be able to stay upright with minimal effort. 

As you learn your board, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Vertically align your hips, neck, and torso, using this line as your center of gravity.
  • Wear flat shoes so your toes and heels are on the same level as your board. 
  • Distribute your weight evenly, leaning slightly forward or backward as needed.
  • Take frequent breaks, and try not to use the board longer than 20 minutes at a time. 

Make sure your desk has enough space to safely accommodate the board. The room should also be well-lit. If changes are needed, ask your supervisor if you can adjust your office layout to avoid hurting yourself if you accidentally stumble and fall. 

Balance Board Exercises

Want to get a little more benefit from your board? Here are three simple exercises you can perform right at your desk!

Board Tilt

If you're brand-new to your board, start with a simple tilt. This exercise works best with a wobble board and can help strengthen and stabilize your ankles. 

To do it, start in a neutral position. Then, carefully tilt your board forward until the front edge touches the floor. Then, move it backward until the back edge touches the floor. 

Repeat this motion, moving back and forth slowly for about 30 seconds. Once you've grown comfortable with the front-to-back motion, try tilting the board from side to side. 

Full Rotation

This exercise is also called Around the Clock. Starting in a neutral position, tilt the board forward until it touches the floor. Leaving it in that position, try to move it clockwise all the way around. 

You'll find that the board naturally wants to come back up. It takes balance, a strong core, and powerful leg muscles to keep it locked downward. You'll have to shift your weight repeatedly to make the full rotation.

Once you complete it, switch gears and go back the other way, moving the board counterclockwise until you're back in the natural starting position. Want to really amplify the workout? Try doing it on just one leg!

Calf Stretch

Your calves can grow tight and stiff after sitting all day. A deep stretch keeps them limber and prevents injury. It can also improve your overall stability. 

To perform this exercise, begin by standing on the floor behind your balance board. Then, put one foot on the board, keeping it flat. Your other foot should be flat on the floor next to you.

Slowly lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the calf on the balance board. Hold it for a few seconds, then switch feet. You can repeat this exercise a few times until you feel relief. 

Add an Office Balance Board to Your Standing Desk

Have you been looking for a way to optimize your standing desk? While this is a great way to stay productive and engaged at work, it can be exhausting to stand on your feet all day. 

An office balance board activates the primary and stabilizer muscles in your body. At the same time, it also triggers mental stimulation, requiring you to instinctively think about each move before you make it. 

At Uncaged Ergonomics, we specialize in ergonomic office gear that can help you enjoy your next day at the office. Strategically designed to support your body and improve your comfort, these pieces alleviate strain, relieve stress, and help you feel better at work.

Feel free to check out our full collection online and let us know if you have any questions! 

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