When the Corporate Wellness Magazine staff received an opportunity to review a product that would enable us to behave as if we were surfing on a surfboard while working, we said yes with no hesitation.
Because we collectively sit all day at our desks-unless we take turns at the standing desk or work together while standing at the conference room table - trying out the Level by FluidStance was a perfect fit. Handmade and carved out of bamboo, the Level seemed simple enough. We were to stand on it and work.
So, that's what we did.
The immediate, common reaction was initial laughter because not only can a person stand on the product, he or she can twist or turn while working. This new range of motion while working at a standing desk invited a sense of playfulness.
We found that standing at a desk and incorporating movement engaged our core, strengthened our quadriceps and made us laugh out loud because we could twist and turn as we tried to keep our balance.
One CWM staffer said for those employees who are "blessed with a creative or energetic mindset, the Level is a great complement to a standing desk. As I was working on a difficult proposal, I found myself twisting and turning the board when I was faced with a challenge or needed to get creative with verbiage."
We found that using the Level allowed us to work through any workday frustrations in a way that was not only fun, but productive and conducive to our work environment. It was also rewarding to know that we were exercising in a way of engaging muscles we do not normally use due to sitting; one CWM staffer felt her low back tension alleviate and became motivated to hold an immediate walking meeting outdoors.
The design and quality of the product were sufficient for its purpose and the price tag of $289 for the least expensive Level product we consider on the high-end of the corporate wellness spectrum. Full disclosure: Corporate Wellness Magazine received the product for free for the staff to use.
One of the challenges we found applied to the women in the office who wear high heels or wedges. Standing on the Level while wearing heels made the women taller than the standing desk they were using, which forced them to raise the desk in order to avoid hunching their shoulders.
And although it did not occur, we were uncertain of liability issues for employers whose employees may fall if they did not engage well with the product.
Overall, using the Level was a great experience and the purpose of it exceeded our expectations. As we continue to monitor corporate wellness products, we consider FluidStance's Level product to be a simple choice to create motion-and catch a few imaginary waves-in the workplace.