Fitterfirst Active Office Balance Board Review
Fitter First Active Office Board is one of the best balance boards that we've reviewed this year. Its sturdy construction, adjustable design, and affordable price puts it in line with the top ranked decks out there.
Wood, Velcro, Foam
24" x 12" x 4"
Versatile adjustable design. Good quality and aesthetically-pleasing look.
Base foam pads compress with time. Velcro strips may wear out with regular base reconfiguration. Hard wood surface puts pressure on heels and too slippery to use with socks.
Fitterfirst's Active Office Board is one of the more inventive balance boards we've seen. Endorsed by the author of “Sitting Kills - Moving Heals” and former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division Dr. Joan Vernikos, this Canadian-made board offers an intriguing adjustable design and attractive finish. Made exclusively with Canadian-sourced wood, its adjustable standing platform features four non-marking foam legs (held by Velcro strips) that allow for varied stances and offer shock absorption.
Active Office Board Design & Features
The board makes a nice decorative addition to the modern office. Offered in dark chocolate brown, it has a more sophisticated look than any other wooden balance board we’ve seen on the market (except, of course, The Level). On the underside of the board, there are four Velcro strips that hold the foam pads in place. The pads can be re-positioned 12 different ways to offer varying degrees of difficulty including Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. As your level progresses, the fewer foam pads you'll need.
Unlike other balance boards, FitterFirst's Active Office Board has a bounce to it, which smoothens the overall experience. Its hard wooden surface might not be ideal for ergonomics (as your feet start hurting within an hour of use), but the foam base does a great job of absorbing shock from your movement. Do be aware that it's quite slippery when used in socks, so we recommend you wear shoes or socks with rubber sole grips.
Changing the base configurations is easy. Simply attach the foam pads to the Velcro strips in a pattern that corresponds to your desired level of difficulty. By placing a pad at each at each corner, you'll create an "Easy" level pattern that provides good stability. By placing a row of four foam pads along the middle of the board, you'll turn it into a single plane rocking board (back and forth), and using only two pads allows for a side-to-side rocking movement (both "Intermediate" levels). If you're looking for omnidirectional (wobble) movement, position a single foam pad in the middle of the board’s underside. This pattern is definitely "Advanced".
While the board deck is sturdy and durable, the foam pads may compress over time, especially if you go over the board’s weight limit (not indicated). One user review noted that his foam pads compressed in just a month of use to half their size. (The manufacturer stated that gradual compression is natural, but this seems to be above the average rate.) This is why Fitter First offers a replacement pack of pads that you can also use for a total beginner configuration (8 pads at once). The Velcro strips durability may be suspect, but you can replace them yourself once they completely wear out (which may take quite some time, especially if you aren’t changing configurations very often).
FitterFirst's Active Office Board is a great contender in the active standing product category given its modern look, adjustability, and especially its price. At $99.95, the board is a real find for those who want an affordable but stylish balance board and a flexible design. If you’re looking for an alternative to Fluidstance's The Level, this could be it.
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