I use a standing desk at home in my crafting studio. Technically I use both an Ikea kitchen island (now discontinued) and a Kallax 4×2 shelf on wheels as two separate standing desks, set up parallel to each other. I absolutely love my studio setup and I’m firmly on board the standing desk bandwagon.
Although standing desks are a great way to keep your heart rate up and make sure that you’re not sitting around the entire day, they do come with their own set of issues. As someone who suffered a traumatic knee injury when I was younger, my joints (especially my knees) get really angry at me and tend to tighten up after standing for long periods of time.
The cool people over at FluidStance got in touch with me and sent me one of their flagship products — The Level — to test out and review. The Level is a standing work platform that encourages subtle movement of the lower body while working at a standing desk. As soon as I got the email, I checked out this video to see what The Level was all about and was eager to see how the level would affect my day-to-day studio routine.
About The Level (according to the cool people over at FluidStance):
The Level by FluidStance is a work platform that elicits subtle, constant movement below your feet to increase your range of motion and heart rate. Developed primarily as a tool for your immediate workspace, it can be used in common areas of both the home and office, or as a complement to a stand-up desk. The patent-pending design allows you to change the overall aesthetics via interchangeable top decks, floating bumpers, and base plates.
The bottom line is that this is a pretty awesome product. I absolutely love mine, and I use it every day I’m at my standing desk. But like everything in this world, there are benefits and there are drawbacks — here’s a pro/con list to break it down.
- Increased Joint Movement & Flexibility: I never realized how much my hips had been tightening up while standing at my desk until I started using The Level. I love that this gets me moving just enough to prevent my joints from tightening up while I work.
- Beautiful & Well-Made: The Level is absolutely beautiful. The wood is stunning, and when you flip it over, the bottom metal piece is sleek and futuristic looking. It reminds me very much of an indoor miniature snowboard.
- Great for Thinking: My favorite thing about The Level is that I can just stand on it and think. I have to spend just enough energy so that I can focus on thinking, and not letting my mind wander. I like to move it in front of my sliding glass door and stare out the window while thinking about my current creative project or what I want to write about next.
- It’s Just Really Cool: Everyone who has come into my studio has had an absolute blast standing on it and testing it out. It’s fun to rotate and spin around on, and it really gets you using muscles that are usually left dormant throughout the day.
- Price: Depending on which version of The Level you’re looking at, the prices range from $289 to $429. Being as how it’s essentially a tool/piece of work furniture handmade from American and eco-friendly materials, it’s definitely not overpriced, but it is definitely an investment.
- Slippery: FluidStance recommends using a mat underneath The Level to ward against excess slipping. The only time I had an issue was when I was using mine wearing only socks and dancing/spinning around a little bit more than I should have been.
- Bulky: There are times when I don’t want any excess movement (think fussy cutting or xacto knife time) and I need to move The Level out of the way. It does take up a couple square feet of space on the floor (especially when you account for the space you need to leave for the rotational movement), but it’s not overly burdensome to move out of the way (or under the desk) for a little while.
If you’re an everyday standing desk person, and you suffer from tight joints, or just want to get yourself moving around a little more, The Level could be exactly what you need. It is definitely an investment, but so is pretty much every tool that’s well-made, beautiful, and worth having in your working studio.
You can learn more and pick up The Level at http://www.fluidstance.com/.
* Disclosure: FluidStance contacted me to see if I’d be willing to test out The Level in my studio, and to give an open and honest review to my readers. These are my thoughts.