Vew-Do Zone Fitness Stand Up Desk Balance Board Review
- Lab tested
Vew-Do is a great balance training system that doubles as a stand up desk balance board. Replaceable bases lend it more versatility than any other product in its category. If you want to improve your balance, this board is definitely the best one for the task, but it may prove a bit too challenging for prolonged use at a standing desk.
For gym and home exercise
|MSRP / List Price||$179.95|
1-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects.
Sustainably sourced hardwoods
26″ L X 13 1/2″ W
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
|Competition||Top-Rated Balance Boards|
|User Reviews||Amazon Reviews|
|Where to buy||
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||The most challenging standing desk balance board we’ve tried. Doubles as a fitness board. Replaceable bases allow versatility. Features a handle for easy carrying.|
|Negatives||High learning curve. EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) topsheet does not provide enough cushioning. Its motion is not as smooth as other boards.|
In 1990, in his quest to help extreme sports enthusiasts improve their balance, snowboarding instructor Brew ‘Vew’ Moscarello launched a balance training system that started the Vew-Do brand. It was designed after Bongo Board—the first ever balance board—invented by the World War II pilot Stanley Washburn, who after seeing kids in Africa and India balance on tree rounds with planks, created a safer version in 1953. Washburn himself gave his approval to Moscarello for the marketing of the Vew-Do, a new yet similar board.
Just like Bongo, the first Vew-Do balance board—and all models that followed—featured an underside rail and side guards meant to keep the roller in place and make the board safer to balance. The difference between the two was the shape of the deck—while Bongo was straight and flat, Vew-Do’s side edges were curved upward like a skateboard.
The brand has since expanded its line of balance training solutions for various audiences including surfers and skaters. Their latest addition to the lineup—Vew-Do Zone Fitness Stand Up Balance Board—is described as the most versatile balance product for home, gym, and office use.
At first glance, this is a perfect all-in-one solution indeed. The board comes with two replaceable bases—a foam teeter and a wobble rock—which can turn it into a rocker or an omnidirectional wobble board, respectively. (If you’re feeling like you need more challenge, you can also buy a roller.) The ample deck features plenty of real estate for users of all heights and the underside rail keeps the base firmly attached. The ergonomic handle in the deck allows for easy carrying (attaching the bases to the rail makes it even easier to transport) while the strength band cutouts at the sides add more exercise versatility in the gym. After testing it, however, there are a few minor drawbacks that deter us from calling it the best stand up desk balance board out there.
Vew-Do Balance Board For Work and Fitness
We tested a Mahogany board with a black EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) topsheet and three replaceable bases – the foam teeter, the wobble rock, and the roller (sold separately, but it came with our testing sample). There is a big difference between all three bases, but we found the degree of difficulty to be quite high on most of them, which might not be a problem for skateboarders and athletes, who are well-adjusted to extreme balancing, but those who have balance issues may find the board too steep for their liking. The good thing is that you can use the deck without any bases. Though using it this way only allows for a back and forth rocking motion, it is an excellent chance to test your balance before you move on to trying any add-ons.
The board is perfect for challenging yourself in the gym. Thanks to the progressing difficulty of the bases, you can create varying levels of instability as appropriate. We can see it being used for push ups, planks, or battle rope training. In addition, its sides are cut out specifically to hold the strength bands in place, so you can get some resistance training in without actually lifting weights.
The range of motion obviously differs across all board configurations; each base has its own advantages and drawbacks. While we tried the board in all five variations, the wood wobble is a clear winner for standing desk use, as it presents a medium challenge as opposed to the others that are either too extreme or too easy to balance. You can see a breakdown in the difficulty level of each base below (in ascending order of difficulty).
Board without base
This is an ideal way to start if you’re new to balance training, recently had an injury, or if you just fear your balance may not be up to par. If you remove all the bases and place the board under your feet, you’ll be able to get a light back and forth rocking motion. Easy to use regardless of balance proficiency.
Typical wobble board bases are shaped as half spheres, and this one is no exception. The wobble rock on the Vew-Do comes with a magnet that keeps the base firmly attached to the metal strip on the board’s underside. It is easier to balance than the foam teeter and although the movement with this base is smoother than the movement on the BackApp 360, you can still feel a slight jolt from the impact when the wood stoppers hit the floor. In comparison, the convex base of The Level moves very smoothly on the floor, especially when used on a mat or carpet.
The foam teeter allows for rocking movement in two planes of instability—back-and-forth and side-to-side. When attached perpendicular to the board, the deck moves only side-to-side. When aligned with the underside rail, the foam teeter increases the challenge by raising the board 3 inches from the floor, which may prove problematic for those with poor balance. This also puts additional pressure on the legs and feet, which might increase fatigue. On the plus side, the steeper angle does allow for some good calf stretching and core engagement.
The roller is an extreme base intended for specialty balance training only. You’d have to tether yourself to the desk to stand on it safely, so we recommend keeping it for active breaks or gym sessions only, and, of course, be sure to exercise caution while using it indoors…it’s easy to lose control and run into your surroundings.
The Good, The Bad, and The Level
While Vew-Do Zone Fitness is the most challenging and versatile of all balance boards we’ve seen on the market, without its bases the board’s range of motion is quite modest, which can make it a bit boring for proficient users but also more accessible for those with balance issues.
We found the board best performed on a cushy polyurethane mat because it absorbs the shock from the board’s guards and edges hitting the floor as you move. It also makes the wobble slightly smoother.
The main issue that we encountered during our testing was how mentally distracting it was to use the board while working. The more challenging the board, the more muscles your body needs to engage to keep the balance. This understandably creates more awareness of what your body is doing, which takes away from concentration and focus. The board’s jerky movement is another factor to note. The smoother the movement, the easier it is not to notice it.
From the design side, Vew-Do is not as attractive as The Level by FluidStance. The EVA topsheet gives it a typical sports-like appearance; however, Chocolate or Sand wood grain finishes can make for a nice addition to the office. You can also choose other wood color options without the topsheet. Although surprisingly durable, the EVA pad will do little to cushion your feet in comparison to a proper anti-fatigue standing mat.
Another factor that ranks this board so close to The Level is the fact that it’s made in the USA from natural materials. Maple hardwood is fully recyclable, and the Vew-Do balance board will definitely last quite a while thanks to its sturdy construction. The board’s weight capacity supports a hefty 450 lbs, which is the weight limit of both FluidStance The Level and The Plane combined.
Vew-Do balance board is a close second to the FluidStances when it comes to the best balance boards for standing desks. Thanks to its versatile design, it can fit both in the office and the gym. Although priced around the same as The Plane, Vew-Do comes with the added value of replaceable bases that functionally change the board’s balancing angles. Being lightweight, portable, and well-priced makes it a great choice for those who want the most bang for their buck. If you don’t mind a high learning curve and have plenty of creative exercise ideas, Vew-Do is definitely the right board to get.
Looking to see how Vew-Do stacks up against its competitors? Read our balance board comparison review. And if you’re looking for a mat that lies flat on the ground, check out the closely-related categories Calculated Terrain Mats and Anti-Fatigue Standing Mats.
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26″ L X 13 1/2″ W, height depends on the base (foam teeter 3″; wood wobble 1.75″); weight capacity 450 lbs
1 Year manufacturers warranty against defects.