Stop sitting and start moving more with a FluidStance deck for your home, office or kitchen!
Hey friends, today we’re taking a little break from food to talk about something that’s a really important part of healthy living: MOVING!
If you don’t think this applies to you because you already move in the gym, think again. The kind of everyday, all-day moving that I’m going to focus on today applies to every body and here’s why:
Research has linked sitting, or any other sedentary activity like driving, working at your desk or watching TV, with an increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased body fat around the waistline and loss of lean body mass (muscle). It also bears mentioning loss of productivity when we’re talking about putting in the hours at work, thanks to that drop in mental alertness you often feel after returning from lunch and plopping back down in your desk chair.
Which is exactly why Stacie and I both choose to move more in our daily lives using a FluidStance deck.
Standing vs. Sitting
Just over a decade ago I came across this article by James Levine, MD, PhD while I was putting together a workplace wellness program focused on obesity prevention. As all research seems to do to me, I found myself going down a rabbit hole (in the best way possible) in an attempt to understand more about Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) – the energy we expend during normal daily activities – and it’s potential affects on weight and blood sugar. It seemed so obvious. Move more everyday to weigh less, right? It is obvious but sadly, our modern lives aren’t set up for ‘just moving more’ especially for those of us with desk jobs, commutes, soccer games to sit through, car pools to run and shows to watch.
Somewhere in that rabbit hole I found this gem of an article talking about the benefits of a ‘walking desk’ which was essentially a desk built over a treadmill. It was a great idea but not terribly practical for most of us working in an office or those who don’t have the greatest coordination to be able to walk and type simultaneously! I believe it was from the early treadmill desk concept that the standing desk movement was born. Standing and working was much simpler and could be done just about anywhere by simply elevating your existing desk or purchasing an adjustable height deck that can be placed on top of your existing desk or table or one like this that is freestanding.
Since I couldn’t get a treadmill in my office I started standing at work instead and fell in love with it!
Though I’ve gone back and forth with standing and sitting for the past 8 years I’ve found that I’m happiest (and healthiest and most productive) when I’m not sitting. I’ve also found that standing can be tiring and lead to hip and lower back pain for me which is why I instantly fell in love with the FluidStance decks when I discovered them at Expo West this past spring.
What is a FluidStance Deck?
Great question! A FluidStance Deck looks a little like a warped skateboard but trust me, it’s so much more. There’s so much science and engineering behind these seemingly simple decks which is what sets them apart from other decks or balance boards I’ve tried over the years. FluidStance decks are designed to provide a gentle range of motion underfoot that’s similar to walking (meaning the angle of your foot and ankle in toes above heel and heel above toes positions is similar to that when you’re walking). This allows you to subtly move or ‘flow’ as you stand which allows to you to shift your weight in ways that are nearly imperceptible – meaning you don’t even notice you’re doing it once you’ve gotten the hang of it (which takes most people just a few minutes to do).
I could go on forever about the science behind it but I’ll leave that up to the folks at FluidStance to explain here how their decks can increase your daily caloric burn (through NEAT) by up to 19% while keeping you more alert and productive throughout your day. They’re really good about explaining the ‘why’ freeing me up to show you the ‘how’ of how we use FluidStance decks at our house to move more.
The FluidStance Level (for adults) and FluidStance Grade (for kids) are the go-to decks in our household. I love that my Level matches my bamboo flooring and has a sleek, modern design that compliments my home office. My kids love the fun color of the Grade and the non-slip rubber deck mat.
Bonus: The Grade is made from recycled milk jugs, yogurt containers and tires which really resonates with my kids as they learn more about recycling as part of being good stewards of the earth. Updated: And so is the new Plane deck for adults!
FluidStance at Work
I work from home which means it’s both awesome and awful at times. I love the freedom of being able to work when and where I want but sometimes family-life distractions can be a challenge. Thankfully I have a home office space where I can
lock myself away work that allows me to customize my space and work with fewer distractions – rather than having to share the dining room table or make space amongst the clean laundry piles on the couch.
My standing desk is not fancy but it gets the job done. My very handy hubby simply built a 3-sided box/platform to fit under each of the supports of my existing IKEA desk. This took him all of about 30 minutes to do using scraps of lumber leftover from another home improvement project. The only drawback to this design is that the desk is fitted to me and only me. The height of the boxes was calculated after measuring the height of my arms (in typing position) while standing on my FluidStance deck at the desk.
An adjustable desk (either freestanding or the tabletop style) would give you much more flexibility among users or even yourself if you find that you prefer a combination of sitting and standing. However, if you’re looking to do this standing thing without a lot of added expense or an office furniture overhaul, then modifying what you’ve got is likely the best place to start. You can always change things up and upgrade when the time is right. I usually spend 70-80% of my day standing and the other either moving about in the kitchen, taking photos or even sitting on the couch or at the table to shake things up a bit.
FluidStance in the Kitchen
As a food blogger and mom, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen prepping and chopping. I’ve found that my FluidStance deck is perfect for tasks where I’m standing (like chopping or peeling). My legs are way less tired at the end of a weekend prep session when I’ve used my FluidStance rather than just having stood on the floor.
I’ve also been known to ‘flow’ on my deck while folding laundry or checking emails on my phone. Every little bit of extra movement in my day adds up especially now that I’m not in the garden or working outside 8 hours a day like I used to before becoming a full time blogger. And since I’ve started using my deck regularly I no longer have that nagging lower back or hip pain.
FluidStance and Homework
My oldest daughter, Lily, has dyslexia and not surprisingly, the FluidStance Grade has become an important tool for supporting her learning. As a kinesthetic learner she needs to ‘do’ in order to learn. Rhythmically tapping her foot while reciting times tables or passing a bean bag from hand to hand in front of and behind her body while working on spelling words helps her focus on tasks that are difficult for her when it comes to reading and math.
The gentle movement that comes with standing on a FluidStance deck also helps her stay focused and channel nervous energy as she works her way through homework problems. As a parent of a child with dyslexia I’ve sought out numerous alternative or complimentary ways to support Lily’s learning – from homeopathy to movement therapy to diet changes – and have taken a page from each book to create her own individualized plan in conjunction with her teachers and tutor. And this fun way to move more has been one of her favorite things to come out of this journey so far. After a couple weeks of reminding her to grab her deck, it’s now second nature and she’ll tell you that it’s ‘weird’ doing homework without it.
Moving while learning (or before learning as described in Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain) has been a big part of Lily’s success as a kid with learning differences. I love that the FluidStance Grade is really stable so it’s easy for her to effortlessly balance while tending to cognitive tasks. This has made time on the deck more fun than it is ‘work’ or ‘therapy’.
Obviously, you don’t have to be a blogger or a child with a learning difference to reap the benefits of a FluidStance deck. Anyone can get on board (literally!) and move more in the name of improving their health and mental focus.
Want to learn more about FluidStance and how moving more in your daily life can improve your health? Check out their blog or jump right in with a deck of your own or one for the kids and see what a difference moving more can make in your own life.
What ways have you found to add more movement into your daily life? Are you a standing deck user? Share in the comments below!
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