Steppie Balance Board Review
Danish designers Gitte Toft and Henrik Andersen were among the first to come up with a balance solution for office 'sedentarism' in a form of Steppie balance board. It will give you the stability of a standing mat and a bit of controlled low impact movement, which can be seen as either a drawback or advantage, depending on what you're looking for in a board.
1 Year Manufacturers Limited Warranty
22.4" x 14.5" x 2.1"
Single-direction board that is stable and easy to use. Light weight and handles make it easily portable.
Not as challenging as omnidirectional boards. Hard plastic surface may warrant acquiring a standing mat or comfort shoes.
[Editor’s Note: Due to the increasingly competitive market for balance boards, we’ve recently adjusted our score for Steppie, because it underperforms in comparison to similar products.]
Balance boards are taking on new shapes and sizes to fit with less active, less demanding office environment. The idea is, however, not to mix work and exercise but to help office workers alleviate pressure in hips, knees, feet, and ankles built from hours of immobility at their sit-stand desks. Deriving from classic training systems and physical therapy tools, modern balance boards are marketed as office accessories and designed to be more stable and attractive. And although they draw an equal amount of interest and skepticism, balance boards reportedly increase standing stamina and improve posture and focus, turning skeptics into believers.
Steppie balance board, designed back in 2013, was among the first balance boards created specifically for solving what its designers call ‘sedentarism’ in the workplace. Interestingly those designers are a former therapist and sales manager Gitte Toft, who has been working as a marketing manager for Denmark at BackApp Europe - the company that designed BackApp balance chair and later BackApp 360 - and her colleague Henrik Andersen. We're guessing Steppie came to be as a result of Toft's knowledge and experience with BackApp's products. You may have also seen the board marketed as Ergotron Balance Board and Victor Tech ST570 Steppie.
Built to give a user more control over their movement, Steppie gently rocks from side to side, without twisting around its axis or creating a high degree of instability, unlike standard balance boards. A gradually arching base is the mechanism behind Steppie's seesaw motion. It doesn’t have any additional features and there is no adjustability level when it comes to tilt or angle of movement, which means it may be a more stable option for users who fear to lose their balance on the more extreme omnidirectional boards like The Level or BackApp 360.
Steppie Balance Board is Easy to Use
More stability also makes the board instantly accessible and easy to use. Hopping on and off is barely a challenge, and more advanced balancers may find that they would like more freedom of motion (back and forth in addition to side to side). It is important to note, though, that for your own safety you should exercise caution when getting off a balance board regardless for what purpose it was designed.
The PPco plastic doesn’t lend it a lot of beauty, but Steppie’s functional design and single two-tone gray color scheme go well with the furniture that you can usually find around modern office spaces. What it lacks in adjustability, the board can supplement in size. Its 22.4-inch deck allows for quite a wide stance, which can aid in proper weight distribution; while the smooth rocking motion renders it almost unnoticeable.
The hard plastic surface may still put pressure on the heels, which you will feel from a prolonged time on the board, but if you place a non-slip standing mat on top of it, you’ll definitely be able to get more hours in. If you have slippery flooring, you can conversely place the mat underneath the board to improve its grip and increase safety. If you're looking for a more mobile cushioning solution, Klogs shoes could be a good choice.
While testing Steppie in our lab, we found that while it is limited in motion, the smooth seesaw motion makes it easier to stand and move on than the BackApp 360 that has a harder surface and jerkier motion. Users report that the board can become a magnet for lint, hair, and crumbs because plastic generates static electricity. We found that to be the case, but a standing mat and occasional cleaning should take care of this problem.
With a couple of hidden handles at its sides and only 5 pounds of weight, Steppie is easily portable. You can also move it under the desk with one foot, and pull it out just as easily whenever necessary.
Update: You can now buy a Steppie Soft Top reflexology mat designed by Gitte Toft to cushion your Steppie balance board. For best results use with thin soled shoes, socks, or barefoot.
Steppie is a solid office balance board that is easy to use and is quite affordable in comparison to its competitors - balance boards designed specifically for standing desks. Its modest single-direction design may be the main dealbreaker for some but others may appreciate more control over their movements and a more stable base that does not rotate in place under the user's weight. One of its most prominent and impressive features is the weight capacity of 440 lbs.
Wonder how Steppie differs from its competitors? Check out our slate of Balance Board Reviews. And if you are looking for some comfort mats to use with your stand-up desk, read our Standing Desk Mat Reviews or take a look at these Contoured Terrain Standing Mats.
The board comes in one size - 22.4 W X 14.5 L X 2.1 H with a weight capacity of 440 lbs.
Manufacturer's Limited Warranty: 1 Year