Okay, those who are familiar with my writing style are probably saying, “So what’s unusual about that, Keith? I mean, tell me something I don’t know.”
But this time it’s different. I’m not talking about being mentally unstable – at the very least, I’ll plead the Fifth on that account. No, as I type these words, it would be no exaggeration to say that I am standing on shaky ground. Physically speaking, that is.
Let me explain. Several weeks ago I was contacted by a representative of a company called FluidStance, asking if I’d be interested in evaluating a new product they had developed, which they called the Level. The premise of the Level is simple: it’s a flat surface for you to stand on, built on top of a slightly convex aluminum frame, which prevents it from lying flat on the floor. When standing on this device, it’s up to you to maintain your balance, which ultimately causes you to remain in a constant – but subtle – state of motion.
If you’re familiar with the “yoga balls” that many people now are using as desk chairs, it’s a somewhat similar concept: that of sitting more actively, and using your core to maintain your posture and balance. But since with this device you’re standing rather than sitting, the Level creates a sensation more akin to surfing (or perhaps paddle boarding).
This offer left me both intrigued and reluctant. To say that my lifestyle is overly sedentary is quite an understatement. I have a corporate writing gig that I do in my own home, and my primary creative and recreational activities are writing fiction and writing music. In other words, there’s nothing I do on any given day that I can’t do in a chair – or even on a couch. My somewhat less than svelte frame would suggest that this level of sedentariness (hey, it might be a word) is perhaps not the healthiest choice. So I started using a standing desk earlier this year, as I documented in this WU post. Several months into the endeavor, I’ll admit that I’m not always good about using it, but I do keep it nearby, and try to make sure I spend at least some of my day not sitting on my ever-expanding posterior.
To put it more bluntly (and far more accurately), I’ve been blessed with the physical grace of a one-eyed drunken rhinoceros.
Okay, that explains my intrigue, but not my reluctance. The latter stems from what I could delicately refer to as a certain lack of grace on my part. To put it more bluntly (and far more accurately), I’ve been blessed with the physical grace of a one-eyed drunken rhinoceros. So the idea of reviewing a product that would drive home all too painfully my own inclination towards inebriated rhinocerosity (hey, it should be a word) was a bit daunting to consider.
I mean, I’m as self-deprecating as the next guy (assuming the next guy isn’t Donald Trump), but even I have limits to how much self-induced humiliation I’m willing to experience.
But I’m also a just-say-yes guy (as anybody who’s ever offered to buy me a drink can corroborate), so I agreed to put the Level through its paces. [Read more…]