A 2019 study showed that depending on your body type, using a standing desk can increase your energy expenditure throughout the workday, and adding a balance board can help further increase your energy expenditure and mix up your standing desk routine. The best balance boards for a standing desk have nonslip features to help you stay upright, and a limited range of motion that activates your muscles without distracting you from important tasks.
Whether you want to improve your posture or stay active at work, a great balance board can make spending the day at your desk even more engaging. Using a balance board with a standing desk also has a ton of its own potential health benefits, including improved balance, coordination, and injury prevention, since your time on the board helps strengthen crucial joints.
One important feature to look for when shopping for a balance board is a nonslip deck and feet. Especially if your desk is on a hardwood or tile floor, you’ll want to ensure that your board will stay in place and won’t slide around or out from under you. Some balance boards also come with a textured surface or grip tape to further increase friction and help you stay upright. Soft rubber feet or padding on the underside of your board will also prevent your balance board from leaving scuffs or scratches if you have hardwood floors.
It’s also a good idea to choose a balance board that gently rocks or wobbles in place — boards and trainers that roll around can be too difficult to use while working in front of a desk. For more advanced balancers with skateboarding, surfing, or snowboarding experience, there are also boards that allow you to adjust the difficulty for those times when you want more of a challenge. You’ll also want to check out the dimensions and weight capacity of the board, as those with larger feet might find smaller board decks less comfortable to stand on.
If you’re ready to add some activity into your standing desk routine, check out these great balance boards that’ll keep you mentally and physically engaged all day.
1. The best overall
- Dimensions: 24 x 12 x 2.5 inches
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
With an overall 4.7-star rating on Amazon, this popular wobble balance board is made with 100% recycled materials, and its soft rocking motion is accessible enough for balance board beginners. Fluidstance recommends that you start out with using their balance board for 20% of your day to become accustomed to the fluid 360-degree range of motion, but reviewers noted that they had so much fun balancing that they’ve used it for up to six hours at a time. The rubber bumpers on the underside of this board are quiet on floors, and the limited range of motion allows you to gain the fitness benefits of moving at your desk without it being too distracting. This board also has a soft rubber material on the top of the deck that’s both comfortable for your feet and increases friction to prevent slipping.
One reviewer wrote: “Fantastic. Yes, it's pricey, but it is well worth it. I use it at my standing desk and it has increased my standing time by at least 30%. It's no longer satisfying to stand at my desk without it. Any time I'm feeling a little stiff, I just make a small or large adjustment in stance, or a twist, and the blood is flowing again. I really like the ease with which I can slide it with one foot under or out from under my desk as I move from standing to sitting and then back again, and when I'm sitting I still have my feet on it for elevation.”
- Available styles: 5
2. The best anti-fatigue board
- Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 2.2 inches
- Weight capacity: 320 pounds
This anti-fatigue balance board has small, raised points that stimulate and massage your feet to help your body stay loose and comfortable throughout the day. The small slope of the board doesn’t rock too far in any given direction, which is great for engaging your core for long periods of balancing but won’t be too physically demanding or distracting. The natural rubber backing on this board is also nonslip and anti-scratch, so you can balance knowing the board won’t slide away or ruin your floors. Reviewers called this balance board an essential for anyone with a standing desk, and it has a 4.4-star rating on Amazon with more than 2,000 reviews.
One reviewer wrote: “I really like this board. I have another pad that I was using with my standing desk, and it was okay, but this is much better. The ability to shift my weight simply by slightly leaning from one side to the other is very comfortable and natural. I stand almost all day, and this board helps keep my legs from getting tired and my feet from getting sore. I highly recommend this product.”
- Available sizes: Medium — Large
- Available styles: 3
3. The best rocking balance board
- Dimensions: 17.7 x 10.5 x 4.4 inches
- Weight capacity: 350 pounds
If the idea of wobbling in all directions sounds too demanding for use with your standing desk, this combination footrest and balance board only rocks front to back, isolating crucial ankle muscles. The cherry wood construction can support up to 350 pounds, and the anti-slip grips on the curved feet of the board prevent sliding and help you stay in place. There’s also grip tape across the top of the board that’ll help you keep your footing in shoes, but it may snag on socks or irritate bare feet. If you ever work at your desk while seated, this board also doubles as a gently rocking footrest.
One reviewer wrote: “I work from home and have a stand up desk converter. As much as I like being able to stand up or sit down, standing for long periods is boring and it started to make my lower back hurt. I did research and found this wobble board. I have used it pretty consistently for three days (2-3 hours at a time), with and without shoes, and on a hardwood floor. It REALLY is fun and mildly challenging for someone like me whose balance is challenged at best.”
4. The best adjustable balance board
- Dimensions: 26.1 x 12.8 x 8.8 inches
- Weight capacity: 500 pounds
This bamboo adjustable balance board is great for those who want to build up their balance skills over time. When using the standard bamboo deck, this board only rocks laterally side to side, but you can use the three plastic inserts to increase the balance difficulty or range of motion. Each insert has two different curves that change the main rocking direction of the board, adding up to seven different settings in one product. Reviewers noted that this board is not only fun for using while at your desk, but is also a great training for sports like standup paddle boarding and surfing. This model comes with nonslip grip tape, but for those who plan to use the board with bare feet or socks, there’s also a model with soft EVA foam that feels less abrasive.
One reviewer wrote: “I love this thing. I was looking for a balance board for my standup desk at home. It’s great that it has multiple levels to work up to and standing is more fun! The construction is solid! Such a big fan going to buy another one for the office.”
5. The best balance board for work and play
- Dimensions: 32 x 8.25 x 4 inches
- Weight capacity: not rated (but tested up to 300 pounds)
This skateboard-style balance board not only can help you stay active at your standing desk, but is also great to use just for fun. The round rubber dome under the center of the board allows you to rock in all directions (and even spin) but isn’t so demanding that it’ll distract from your work. Two rubber feet help you stay balanced and stop the board from moving if you touch the ground, which can help you regain your balance and prevent falls, and there’s clear grip tape to help your shoes stick to the surface. The skateboard-like deck also has a curved edge kick-tail on either side, so it’s easy to keep your feet in their proper placement without feeling like you’re sliding off the edge. The only potential downside of using this balance board is that reviewers reported that their co-workers constantly wanted to borrow it.
One reviewer wrote: “This is the second one I purchased (bought it for a co-worker). I've had the first one for about 7 months. I use it at work with a stand up desk and it is by far the best balance option I have tried. If you have ever skateboarded, surfed or snowboarded you will love this. Very well built and constructed and I have used it everyday for about 6 hours with no issues.”