Best Standing Desk For Online ESL Teachers11 min read
If avoiding the adverse effects of sitting at a computer is high on your list of priorities then you will be looking for the best standing desk you can find. I’ve listed the five top standing desks for online tutors as well as some reasons for making the switch from your traditional desk.
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Why should I use a standing desk?
There are quite a few reasons as to why a standing desk can be quite advantageous to online ESL teachers, the least of which is because of the health of your body and keeping your posture in order. The Mayo Clinic has reported that studies of individuals who sat for more than eight hours a day with little to no physical activity increased their chances of dying from stroke or cancer or heart disease to the same level as that of a smoker or an obese individual. And, though most online ESL teachers may not be teaching for 8 hours a day, couple the time you do spend teaching with the time you spend sitting in your car, sitting watching TV, sitting at your computer for other reasons, sitting in class (if you are still in school), or sitting behind your desk at work and you can see that if you can stand through the aid of a standing desk for a few hours or more a day you do teach then you are doing a lot to contribute to more movement in your life. Not only this but, as I discussed in a previous article on ergonomic chairs, sitting for long periods of time puts a great deal of stress and pressure on your back causing your posture to suffer greatly as a result. While the use of an ergonomic chair such as one mentioned in the article is a good first step in improving the situation, an even better step in the right direction is eliminating the chair altogether and standing instead. This forces you to adopt a more proper posture which will greatly alleviate the pressure put on the top of your spine which can cause you to slouch over time.
Aside from just the health benefits, your online ESL classes can improve greatly from the extra energy and movement you can bring by removing the chair from the equation. Using a standing desk gives you more range of motion so that you can bring more excitement to the classroom from things like acting out vocabulary words, acting silly for younger students, and more energy in general from not having to sit for so long. This will go a long way towards your booking rate as parents and schools will be able to tell that you have more energy and more enthusiasm when teaching their young students and the students will certainly appreciate the extra energy which will help keep them awake during the class.
There are a number of reasons other than the above two for a standing desk being a more beneficial option when teaching your class. However, the above two are the most important as they are the two that are going to be affecting your health and your pay.
What should I look for in a good standing desk?
The most obvious thing you want to look for, but something which many people don’t think about, is that the height of the desk is going to be enough for you. The last thing you want is to get a desk that is too short and that you can’t use (more of a problem for taller people such as myself). The proper height for a standing desk should be so that you don’t have to strain your neck in order to see the screen and so that the webcam can easily pick you up during your classes.
You will also want to decide whether you want a stand-alone standing desk or an extension which can be added on to your current desk. If you plan on using your current desk most of the time and only using your standing desk when you are teaching then an add-on is going to be the best option. However, if you think you are ready to kick the chair to the curb completely it may be worth looking into getting a stand-alone standing desk that can completely replace your current office desk and chair combination.
If you do opt for an attachment to your current desk then you will want to think about how much space you will need for other things such as your printer, pens and pencils, papers and folders, your best props for teaching students, etc.. Some standing desk attachments can be bulky and can take up a lot of room on your desk leaving you little room for everything else you may have. Choosing an attachment that takes up less space can go a long way towards creating the exact workstation you want.
What are the best standing desks?
- Great for teachers looking to keep their workplaces simple. This is a mounted swivel arm with a platform so there is no clutter or bulky desks that need to be placed on top of your already existing desk which can take up tons of space.
- The swivel capabilities easily allow you to move around the laptop so that you can position yourself in different parts of the room and get the exact position for you to be able to teach your online ESL classes comfortably whether sitting or standing.
- The arm is made from aircraft aluminum ensuring it is both stable and durable which means it should last for years to come. Since it can be installed via grommet or clamp you can choose how you want to put it on your desk so you don’t have to drill holes if you don’t desire.
- The total height of the arm, when extended upwards, is only 16.14 inches so depending on how tall your already existing desk or table that you will be mounting this on is then it probably isn’t going to be a great option for taller individuals. You will need to measure your existing desk or table to make sure this standing desk is the right height for you. Improperly sized standing desks can actually add more strain to the body.
- This standing mount is only for laptop computers and has a maximum weight of a little over 15 lbs so if you have a desktop computer you will be unable to use this specific standing mount.
- Some users have complained that the platform which the laptop sits on has scratched easily. Something that may or may not happen depending on the level of individual wear and tear.
- This product may be a good option for online ESL teachers who are on the go a lot and teach in many locations as it is extremely portable and weighs only 3.65 lbs. You should be easily able to fit this into the travel bag you use for hauling your teaching equipment.
- The stand includes cooling fans that are USB powered which will help to keep your computer functioning well and cooled down.
- Unlike the other stands and desks on this list, the Executive Office Solutions Laptop Stand comes with a money back guarantee. This is also the cheapest option on our list so there is little risk in making a purchase and not liking it and then being stuck with it and out a large amount of money.
- The stand has a maximum height of 16.5 inches so it is not a great option for taller individuals especially if the desk or table you are putting this on is short. Make sure you take measurements to ensure the stand will work for you.
- The method of adjusting the desk is through the joints, of which there are six. Because of this many users have reported that it can be tedious making adjustments to the height of the stand and that can be a major drawback as you would be unable to do things like adjusting the height in between classes.
- This laptop stand is only meant for lighter weight laptops. Many users with laptops weighing over 3 lbs have reported having problems with the stand moving and in some cases tipping over. Make sure to check the weight of your laptop to make sure it won’t be too heavy for this stand.
- This may be a good standing desk converter if you would like to retain most of the space on your current desk. Unlike many other standing desk converters, this isn’t built with a frame but more as a stand and therefore takes up significantly less room than other converters.
- The desk converter offers two different platforms if you want to use a keyboard and mouse with your laptop or if you have a desktop computer. The platform also boasts a spacious 25 x 17 inches which will ensure you can easily place large-sized monitors and laptops without issue.
- The method of adjusting the height from standing to sitting is a gas spring lever so you will be able to easily adjust without much effort. This can come in handy if you desire to switch from standing to sitting in between classes and you need to do so quickly.
- As with most other standing desks and standing desk converters or stands, this product is designed for a person of average height or less which means if you are taller than that you will probably have issues comfortably using this standing desk converter. The maximum height of this converter is 19.5 inches from the desktop you are using.
- Some users have reported the assembly of this standing desk converter was a bit difficult and time-consuming. If you are looking for something that is out of the box ready to go then this may not be the best product for you.
- Just as this converter may not be the best option for taller individuals, some people who are shorter than the average height have reported that the converter is too tall when in the sitting position to be used comfortably. As stated before make sure you are measuring everything to ensure you will be able to use this standing desk converter comfortably.
Which desk to I recommend?
I will start by stating that I am a little bias here. At over 6 feet in height I am a good bit above the average height of a person and as such most of these desks on this list, I would be unable to use. As such I prefer the Cooper Standing Desk Converter because of the extra height it offers over other desks on this list. I am also very impressed by the design as they chose to utilize an X-frame which can be much more stable and cause less movement than many other converters. The converter is the way that I would go as I prefer the desk I already have and sometimes would like to use it just as a sitting desk option. Also, the size and weight limits on the Cooper Standing Desk Converter are significantly greater than many other standing desks and converters including the others on this list. Overall I think it’s a great option for people who are concerned with posture and health while teaching ESL online. However, if a standing desk isn’t something you are interested in but still want the benefits of good posture and a healthier option when working at the computer then you can check out our recommendations for the best ergonomic chairs for online ESL teachers.
I want to help you find an awesome job in the ESL industry and then excel at it. I’m a TESOL certified teacher with over two years of experience working both online and offline. I have worked with students ranging from young learners to advanced level university speakers and have worked in recruiting and hiring, teacher training, and content creation. I’ve seen the good and bad of the ESL industry and I’m here to tell you about it.