How to Use a Balance Board in the Office

Standing on a balance board is an excellent way of training your muscles and nerves to work together, building proprioception--the innate awareness of where your body is in space. The subtle shifts in position involved in using a balance board or the simple fact of standing to use it can help prevent some of the negative effects of sitting for long periods, including reduced circulation and increased muscular fatigue.


  1. Image titled Use a Balance Board in the Office Step 1
    === Standing on the Board ===
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    Place the balance board in the largest open area you can manage, away from obstacles that you might fall into or that might trip you as you come off the board.
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    Put one foot on one side of the balance board and weight it. The board will tip toward that foot until the edge of the board rests on the ground. Shift your weight entirely onto that leg, holding onto something sturdy for support if necessary. Place your free foot on the opposite side of the board, an equal distance from the center.
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    Shift your weight back and forth until it's evenly balanced. Just standing on the board like this can be a major challenge at first. Hold onto something sturdy for balance if necessary, but wean yourself off the support one finger at a time as your balance improves.
    • Once you've mastered standing on your balance board, you can take phone calls or make dictation while balancing. If you have access to a standing desk, you might even be able to continue working as you balance.
    • If your colleagues and HR department have a sense of humor, you might be able to talk them into allowing balance boards at small meetings.
    • For an extra challenge, try keeping the board under control as you deliberately tip it from side to side or front to back without actually touching down on the ground. If you're using a round-based wobble board you can also shift your weight so the board tilts in a circle, first in one direction and then in the other.
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    === Other Exercises ===
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    Practice standing on one foot at a time. Note that you'll need to shift your balancing foot close to the middle of the board. Lift your free foot only slightly off the board so that you can use it to catch your balance on the floor if necessary. Shift the free foot forward, to the side or back to further challenge your balance ability.
    • Slide one foot forward and one foot back, still hip-width apart, for an entirely different feel. Alternatively, experiment with wide and narrow stances to find which is most challenging for you.
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    Squat down slightly as you balance, then straighten back up again. As your strength and balance improve, you can work your way down to a full squat, knees bent to 90 degrees. Keep your back flat, letting it tilt forward slightly as your hips thrust out behind you. This works every major muscle group in your lower body.
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    Kneel and rest both hands on the balance board, shoulder-width apart or wider. Keep your body stiff like a board and straight at the hips as you bend your elbows, lowering your chest down toward the balance board. Press back up to the starting position to complete a balance board push-up.
    • Obviously, this balance board exercise will only work if you're wearing clothes you can kneel in, and if groveling briefly on the floor will not distract your colleagues.
    • As you get stronger, you can straighten your legs and do full push-ups from your toes and hands instead of your knees.


  • You'll encounter two general types of balance boards: teeter-totter-style boards that tip back and forth in only one plane, or wobble boards with a round base that allow the board to tip in any direction. Wobble boards offer a more versatile balance workout, but are also more challenging to use.

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Categories: Personal Fitness | Motivation to Exercise