By Radha Marcum
Longing for a treadmill desk? The more I read about newfangled active workstations, the more I envy those brilliant and fit people who have them. Think of all the calories I would burn while researching food (which, sadly, usually just makes me hungry) for Calmful Living! And yet a treadmill is . . . so clunky. Thanks to FluidStance, there’s a much hipper, cordless cure for desk-induced stagnation and ADHD—one reminiscent of my skate-punk California childhood.
“I used to live in the mountains of Colorado where getting outside and moving my body was part of my life every day,” says founder Joel Heath. “As the founder of The Mountain Games in Vail, even my ‘day job’ revolved around movement and being outside.” And then Heath took a corporate job, one that required sitting sixty to eighty hours per week. His whole body began to hurt, he says, and he “lost mojo.”
It wasn’t just him. His whole team wanted to be outside, Heath recalls, “to stimulate both our minds and our physical bodies.” But they had so much to accomplish, they stayed tethered to their desks, airplane seats and conference tables, he laments. “I loved the job, but my body was paying for it. Out of this pain point, I conceived FluidStance and the Level board.”
About the length of your average skateboard deck but a little wider, the Level board has all the looks to fit into your hipster office lifestyle, “worthy of a high-rise and not the gym”: a sleek bamboo upper rests in a lightweight metal frame with a rounded, bowl-shaped base on which everything balances.
FluidStance manufactures 98 percent of the board parts within 500 miles of its office in Santa Barbara. The other 2 percent of parts are made within 1,000 miles. “I wanted to be able to check a factory line and sleep in my own bed the same day,” Heath says. Now in its fourth run (at $289 each, available via their Indiegogo campaign), the Level has completely sold out in first, second and third runs.
Step onto it and you’re instantly grooving. “We validated through third-party testing that the board raises heart rate by 15 percent over being seated, but—more importantly—it increases your range of motion by twenty times compared to simply standing at a desk. This range of motion is similar to what your lower legs experience while walking.”
If you have a standing desk, use the board to bring more mobility to your posture; or if, like me, you still have a traditional desk, take phone calls on the board, read documents, or just take a little swivel and spin whenever you’re bored, antsy or feeling stuck.
The board doesn’t replace time in the outdoors, says Heath. “I cherish the time that I get into my body and out of my mind—onto skis, surfboards, trails or water. This is where my best ‘work’ gets done and true innovation takes place, because I am in a place that gives me a different perspective.” But the board certainly “starts to diminish the line between work and play, and brings out a different demeanor in any work environment.”
Visit www.fluidstance.com to learn more about the Level.