Top positive review
37 people found this helpful
Perfect for standing desks?
on March 24, 2017
I have been on my standing desk at work for six months, and I can't say more good things about it. Like anyone using one for long periods of time though, leg stiffness and feet fatigue require sitting breaks during the day. I recently learned there are products that can enhance the standing desk experience while allowing for longer periods of standing.
On a business trip not long ago I was introduced to the Fluidstance Level, which impressed me admittedly. I was really discouraged to later see that Fluidstance's offerings cost $200-400. I figured there was a cheaper alternative to a $300 bamboo deck on aluminum. There are a handful, in fact, and at the bottom of my review you'll find a short list detailing these and why I didn't go for them.
Ultimately, my quite a few hours of research landed me on the Pona Ola Board. After using it for about two weeks, both at home and at work, I am extremely happy with my purchase.
The primary benefit of the Pono Ola Board is in its overall flexibility. You can pump the 4 mini-yoga balls to be more or less stable. Also, due to its build any range of motion is accommodated, with a particular penchant for horizontal motion. Put your feet on the side or front/back edges for soft see-saws, or on the corners of the board for a comfortable, gliding see-saw rhythm. Toe-tappers, leg-jitterers and those who like to bust a move with some music during the day will be especially pleased with the micro-bounces the Pono Board provides (guilty as charged on this last part!). Aside from straightforward see-saws or twisting, all these other movements and subtle bounces simply can’t be done on boards like the Fluidstance. That is probably the only motion limitation for the Pono Board — if you want to twist or ‘surf your desk’, you will need to manually adjust the board.
I enjoy my Pono Board so much I bring it home many days during the week and for weekends so I can stay moving while watching Netflix or winding down on my PS4. It also provides a slight but noticeable challenge when doing squats, pushups and other similar exercises. Going to their website or examining the logo will reveal the product is heavily branded for yoga purposes as well.
At $140, the POB still can be seen as a bit steep. Keep in mind that in addition to allowing you to move virtually however you like, it is on the lower price end compared to the options below, and the Pono Board deck is bigger than the Fluidstance. Even the Wurf, which may give even more freedom in movement, starts at $200.
I’d like to highlight Pono Ola’s fantastic customer service, too. When I received my board, one of my yoga balls wasn’t holding air like the other three. Jeff responded to my inquiry within a business day, and just a few days later I received the replacement ball at no cost to me.
Bringing this back to my standing desk, I would usually need 3-5 sitting breaks during a full work day with most of the time being at my desk those days. Now with my Pono Board, I only need 2-3 sitting breaks. If you’re looking to increase your standing time & ability to move at your standing desk and are ready to invest in the right balance board, I can’t recommend the Pono Ola Board enough.
Competitor Standing Desk Balance Boards:
Fluidstance: See top of review.
Wurf: I found the Wurf to be overpriced for what it is. It is an inflatable-style balance pad that is made of PVC like iSUPs/paddleboards. You get full range of motion, but $200-300 for an inflatable pad seems excessive. I paid $700 for a fantastic iSUP made by a reputable brand. It is 11’ long and 32” wide. The Wurf is a small fraction of the size of my iSUP, yet it is priced just for barely a third or, at worst, nearly half the price of my paddleboard.
Indo Board: I digged the $120-140 price point on this brand and a few others just like it, which is a wooden board on top of a small cushion. What ultimately turned me away was that the product instructions specifically said to make sure you don't leave the board on the cushion when not in use, otherwise the two could meld together and cause problems when separated thereafter? I didn't want to deal with that.
Simply Fit Board: This is essentially the Fluidstance but as a single piece of thick, curved plastic. It was featured on Shark Tank and costs $40. I actually bought this and tried it out for a week, as you can twist and rock side-to-side/front-to-back just like the Fluidstance. Here's the problem: you can only stand on the edges, and they have a slight concave rather than being flat. Consistently my feet became sore after 10-15 minutes of use due to this, so I returned it. The SFB is advertised as a fitness complement, and I agree it is much more ideal for that than standing desk purposes.
Steppie: At $100 this is just like the Fluidstance, except it only allows you to rock sideways. I like the option of full motion in any direction, especially if I'm going to be paying this much more a balance board.
Fitter1 Board: Another $100 option, this is a wooden board with a set of foam blocks you can arrange however you like underneath, giving you complete flexibility in determining your range of motion. I came closest to considering this out of everything here aside from the POB, but a few reviews talked about the foam blocks flattening out over time. Probably not an issue for lighter folks, but again I personally don't want to have to worry about replacing them every so often.