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Promoting Balance at Blend: SlackBlocks and Balance Boards

It's a new year, and that means many of us are focused on improvements and well-being, looking for ways to better ourselves at home and at work. Here at Blend, we have provided a bit of extra balance to make sure we are always bettering ourselves. 



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Drink more water. Take regular and consistent breaks. Keep your workspace clean.

It's a new year, and that means many of us are focused on improvements and well-being, looking for ways to better ourselves at home and at work. But while we often dream of wholesale changes to productivity or a new fitness regimen, improved mental and physical health can often come from small changes to our routine.

Shannan Arens, Project Manager using a balance board while working.
Project Manager, Shannan Arens is hard at work while balancing with one of the balance boards in the office.

Take, for example, the space under your feet. At Blend, we've provided a bit of extra balance to the workplace with some new tools: FluidStance balance boards and SlackBlocks that simulate a slackline.

Despite the risk of falling into one of those "trendy office culture" traps, we're being absolutely serious about this. As a part of Good & Healthy South Dakota's Work Well grant, Blend purchased a set of under-desk balance boards and SlackBlocks for staff members to use as they work.

The South Dakota Department of Health's Office of Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion created the Good & Healthy South Dakota program in order to improve quality of life, health, and wellbeing through effective leadership, surveillance, education, advocacy, and partnership. They do this through events and workshops across the state, but also through grants for South Dakota businesses to help provide tools and training to their staff members. And for Blend, it was a no-brainer: let's keep active — and balanced — for those days when we're in the office, away from the trappings of home.

"Although we provide our team with standing desks that lift and lower with a push of a button many of us end up leaning on our elbows or slouching.," says CEO Karla Santi. "The balance boards and SlackBlocks ensure we're standing upright, engaging our core, and add a fun little challenge, too. It's important to focus on keeping our team healthy, both physically and mentally."

Steph Uher, developer, working while using the SlackBlock.

Combining balance boards and slack blocks with our already standard standing decks and open office workspaces, Blend's goal has been to create an environment that doesn't keep you tethered to a chair, allowing team members to wander, stand, balance, and recline in whichever way feels best.

"After years of trial and error, I've learned that movement is key — so I set up my workspaces to give me a variety of options for movement throughout the day," says Steph Uher, developer. "One of those options is the slack block, which allows me to sneak in some balance training and ankle mobility while I'm at my desk. If my legs are especially sore from a workout, I can use the slack block to stretch and recover — and, it even serves as a step for resting a foot so that I can stand longer throughout the day." 

Work/life balance is always important, obviously. Blend's thankful for the Good & Healthy South Dakota grant to help back that up with some literal balancing, right at our desks.