Best Standing Desks for Online ESL Teachers in 2020

Standing Desks Can Help You Be More Active While Teaching Online
Many online ESL teachers have made the transition to standing up while teaching to avoid the many health hazards related to sitting for extended periods. But the biggest benefit many teachers experience when standing is improved interaction with their students. Here is our pick of the best standing desks for online ESL teachers.

Stand Up and Supercharge Your Online ESL Lessons.
Here are the Best Standing Desks for Online ESL Teachers

Why You Should Use a Standing Desk to Teach Online ESL

According to scientists James A. Levine, Charles E. Matthews, Jay Dicharry, and Tal Amassay, the hazards of sitting too long are manyfold:

  • Heart disease
  • Overproductive pancreas
  • Colon cancer
  • Foggy brain
  • Strained neck
  • Sore shoulders and back
  • Inflexible spine
  • Disk damage
  • Mushy abs
  • Tight hips
  • Limp glutes
  • Poor circulation in legs
  • Soft bones

If this is all too much to remember, or you prefer a neat, printable infographic to remind you, Washington Post has got your back (pun intended), which you can download here.

As an online ESL teacher, you know all too well that working online often translates to hours on end of sitting at a computer. So while some items on this list of health hazards might resonate with you, you might be feeling a bit tense about what to do (see what we did there?) to avoid them.

All of this might sound depressing, but we’ve got your back covered (aren’t we good at this?). Standing desks not only help you avoid the hazards of sitting for long periods, but can actually help you become a more interactive and engaging online ESL teacher. No kidding. We see online ESL teachers everywhere, and it’s clear as day which ones are standing or sitting – just look at how active and agile they are while teaching in front of their screens.

Standing up lets you jump, dance, run on the spot, and move around while interacting with your online students, and that means your students find you a lot more interesting and fun to learn with. Not to mention, as many online ESL teachers who have made the switch from sitting to standing will attest, it just feels great.

There are a variety of ways to set up a standing environment for teaching online ESL, but for the professional online ESL teacher, nothing replaces the versatility standing desks provide. In this post, we will focus on the two best options you have:

  • Standing desks
  • Standing desk converters

Standing Desks

Best Standing Desks For Online Esl Teachers

Standing desks are exactly that – desks that are built taller so you can stand while working on your computer. The greatest advantage of standing desks is that they are very affordable. Yes, there are more expensive options, but as an online ESL teacher, the standing desks we recommend are both excellent and affordable options.

Besides their affordability, standing desks take no more space – probably less – than conventional desks do. Because of their minimalistic and functional design, standing desks can easily fit into your bedroom, living room, or kitchen, and if you go for one with wheels, you can move your desk around wherever you need to be at home. We know online ESL teachers are busy bodies!

When choosing a standing desk, you need to also consider the following:

How tall are you?

If you are taller than average, you want to check that the height of the standing desk can be adjusted to comfort for your height while standing. The last thing you want is to be standing and slouching or looking down at your computer screen.

Do you use a laptop or desktop computer?

Your choice of standing desk should also align with the computer you use. If you use a desktop, for example, you’ll want a standing desk that has a storage tray for the computer chassis.

Laptops are a little easier due to their compact size, but positioning a laptop for standing also involves the ergonomics of you typing on a keyboard or using a mouse. If you use a laptop while standing, you might choose a standing desk that includes a keyboard and mouse tray for using an external keyboard and mouse/trackpad.

Do you use multiple screens?

Many online ESL teachers have discovered the magic of using two screens while teaching. It’s great to be able to work with your students on one screen, and keep your teaching schedule, lesson plans, notes and other app windows on a second screen. However, if you decide to stand up, you need to think about where you will place your second screen.

Do you use a lot of props?

Online ESL teachers typically use props while teaching, so you will want to think about how easy it is to pick up or put down props on your standing desk. All this requires is that your standing desk has ample space for resting props on the desk top. You can store the rest of your props in a box beside or under your standing desk.

 

Do you use a green screen?

If you use a green screen while teaching, you only need to make sure that the standing desk has adequate space for placing lights on the desk top, if your lighting set up requires it. LED lamps are great options to place or clip on to a standing desk.

 

Do you want to switch between sitting and standing from time to time?

Many online ESL teachers will want the flexibility to sit or stand, especially those who find standing for hours challenging, or for those who teach online for long stretches. As well, many online ESL teachers are freelancers who work on projects outside of online ESL teaching, and need to sit down from time to time. Anyone who fits this description should choose a standing desk that is adjustable for both standing and sitting height.

Do you already have a desk for teaching ESL online?

Chances are, you already have a desk you use for teaching online. If you plant to continue using that desk, then you can use a standing desk converter to give you the ability to stand – or sit – at your desk. We’ll be looking at standing desks in a moment.

We’ve reviewed and selected standing desks that will satisfy each of these concerns, and these are our recommended standing desks for online ESL teachers.

 

Best Standing Desks for Online ESL Teachers

  • CREATE INSTANT ACTIVE STANDING - VIVO’s desk riser provides on-demand standing throughout the day for the freedom to get out of your chair and relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and increase productivity.  
  • SPACIOUS 36" SURFACE - The 36” x 22” desktop provides room for single and dual monitor/laptop setups. The 25" x 10.5" keyboard tray raises in sync with the top surface to create a comfortable workstation.
  • STRONG 33 LBS LIFT ASSIST - Go from sitting to standing in one smooth motion with dual gas spring force. Adjust to your proper comfort level by using the innovative simple touch height locking mechanism (Adjustment Range: 6.5” to 17”).
  • VERY MINIMAL ASSEMBLY - This riser is almost ready to go right out of the box! Place on your existing desk, attach the keyboard & feet, and start organizing your workstation.
  • WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED - Our steel riser design is backed with a 3-year Manufacturer Warranty and friendly tech support to help with any questions or concerns.
  • SPACIOUS WORK AREA: The large work surface measuring 48” x 30” is environmentally sourced and provides ample space for a variety of monitor or laptop setups, plus room for ongoing projects and office supplies.
  • ELECTRIC HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE LIFT SYSTEM: The motor lift mechanism offers smoother height adjustments, from 28" to 47.6"(without 1” thickness of table top included), at a speed of 1"/second with low noise(under 50 dB) while running.
  • SOLID CONSTRUCTION: An industrial-grade steel frame combined with a solid desktop allows for a 154 lbs weight capacity to support your ideal workspace setup.
  • BUILT FOR WORK FROM HOME: The perfect standing desk to allow independent and remote workers to stay active, healthy, and productive while working from home. Precisely adjust your desk to your height and insert healthy movement into your day.
  • PLEASE NOTE: The product will be shipped in two separate packages which may be delivered separately from each other. This product is also covered by a 5-year warranty for the frame, motor and other mechanisms, and a 2-year warranty for the controller and switch, electronics.Some steps may require a drill, which is not included.
  • CREATE INSTANT ACTIVE STANDING - VIVO’s desk riser provides on-demand standing throughout the day for the freedom to get out of your chair and relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and increase productivity.
  • SPACE EFFICIENT 31.5" SURFACE - The top surface measures 31.5” x 15.7”, which maximizes space while still providing room for dual monitors. The 31.3" x 11.8" keyboard tray raises in sync with the top surface to create a comfortable workstation.
  • STRONG 33 LBS LIFT ASSIST - Go from sitting to standing in one smooth motion using the innovative simple touch height locking mechanism (Adjustment Range: 4.5" to 20"). Lift design elevates straight upwards.
  • VERY MINIMAL ASSEMBLY - This riser is almost ready to go right out of the box! Place on your existing desk, attach the keyboard tray, and start organizing your workstation.
  • WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED - Sturdy, high-grade steel design is backed with a 3-Year Manufacturer Warranty and friendly tech support to help with any questions or concerns.

Standing Desk Converters

Most of the well-designed standing desk converters are adjustable using levers. Some are gas powered, and can be raised or lowered simply by pulling up or pushing down on the desk itself. If you already have a desk at home you use for online teaching, a standing desk converter is the way to go.

There are some drawbacks, of course. Firstly, standing desk converters can sometimes be more expensive than purpose-built standing desks. Secondly, if you place your LED lamps on your desk on either side of your computer, you need to make sure the standing desk converter you choose has adequate space for placing the lamps on them, so that the lamps go up and down with your computer for both standing and sitting scenarios. Finally, when you raise the standing desk converter, your desk will be much lower. This means when you are teaching while standing, everything that is sitting on your desk (but not the standing desk converter) won’t always be within arm’s length.

On the whole, we feel standing desk converters are worth the additional investment due to the several benefits they offer over purpose-built standing desks.

Here are what we believe are the best standing desk converters for online ESL teachers. You will need to determine which one best matches your needs, considering the important aspects we raised earlier in this post.

  • CREATE INSTANT ACTIVE STANDING - VIVO’s desk riser provides on-demand standing throughout the day for the freedom to get out of your chair and relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and increase productivity.  
  • SPACIOUS 36" SURFACE - The 36” x 22” desktop provides room for single and dual monitor/laptop setups. The 25" x 10.5" keyboard tray raises in sync with the top surface to create a comfortable workstation.
  • STRONG 33 LBS LIFT ASSIST - Go from sitting to standing in one smooth motion with dual gas spring force. Adjust to your proper comfort level by using the innovative simple touch height locking mechanism (Adjustment Range: 6.5” to 17”).
  • VERY MINIMAL ASSEMBLY - This riser is almost ready to go right out of the box! Place on your existing desk, attach the keyboard & feet, and start organizing your workstation.
  • WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED - Our steel riser design is backed with a 3-year Manufacturer Warranty and friendly tech support to help with any questions or concerns.
  • CREATE INSTANT ACTIVE STANDING - VIVO’s desk riser provides on-demand standing throughout the day for the freedom to get out of your chair and relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and increase productivity.
  • SPACE EFFICIENT 31.5" SURFACE - The top surface measures 31.5” x 15.7”, which maximizes space while still providing room for dual monitors. The 31.3" x 11.8" keyboard tray raises in sync with the top surface to create a comfortable workstation.
  • STRONG 33 LBS LIFT ASSIST - Go from sitting to standing in one smooth motion using the innovative simple touch height locking mechanism (Adjustment Range: 4.5" to 20"). Lift design elevates straight upwards.
  • VERY MINIMAL ASSEMBLY - This riser is almost ready to go right out of the box! Place on your existing desk, attach the keyboard tray, and start organizing your workstation.
  • WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED - Sturdy, high-grade steel design is backed with a 3-Year Manufacturer Warranty and friendly tech support to help with any questions or concerns.
  • 【GREAT FOR HOME OFFICES】 Elevate your at-home productivity with the FlexiSpot M7 28'' standing desk riser that features a two-tier design and personalized height adjustments.
  • 【2-TIER ROOMY DESIGN】Makes room for more with 2-tier design, top-tier: 28.4" W x 16.3" D, Base-tier: 28.4" W x 12.1" D (33 lb weight limit). It offers a large workspace for all of your tech, keyboard, monitor setup, and your desk essentials.
  • 【QUICK-RELEASE, REMOVABLE KEYBOARD TRAY】Raise your laptop up to 17-inch off your desk and customize the way you work. The X-lift and single handle design makes it super easy to lift, lower, and adjust without pinching you or your cables.
  • 【EASY HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT】Go from sitting to standing in one easy smooth motion(adjustable range: bottom resting point at 4.7'' and max height can reach 19.7'' from tabletop). Adjust the desk height to a level that perfectly suits you with versatile height settings.
  • 【TRUSTWORTHY 】 Flexispot Sit Stand Desk Converter have a 5-year warranty for the frame, desktop, and a 3-year warranty for the gas spring system and other mechanisms.

Avoiding Fatigue While Standing

If standing for long periods, you may experience fatigue, which is why we prefer standing desk converters, as they enable you to stand or sit. But it’s not always convenient to switch between standing and sitting during the middle of a lesson. To solve this challenge, you can stand on a balance board. Standing on a balance board can not only help you avoid pain from standing for long periods, it can also help you improve your core strength and posture. Here are some balance boards we recommend:

  • GREAT FOR BALANCE TRAINING: Improves core strength, posture, enhances coordination, sense of balance and visual sense. Great to strengthen the targeted muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints
  • DURABLE, NON SLIP SURFACE: Premium Wooden Balance Board with anti-skid pad on the surface provides a secure grip for absolute safety. 15.75 inch diameter large enough for both feet. Support up to 300 lbs
  • 360 DEGREE ROTATION and 15 DEGREE TILTING ANGLE: 360 degrees rotation and up to 15 tilting degree, great to perform side to side, front to back, stretch and circular drills
  • VERSATILE, COMPACT BALANCE BOARD: With the lightweight, portable design, this balance board is great for Balance Exercises, Home Gyms, Gyms, Sport Performance Enhancement, Rehabilitation, Strength and Balance Workouts
  • COMPACT SIZE – USE ANYWHERE: Designed with a portable size so that you can carry it anywhere for quick workouts at home, gym or you can take it to the office and use it under your standing desk
  • GREAT FOR BALANCE TRAINING: improve core strength, posture, enhance coordination & visual sense. Great to build better balance for board sports like surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, ollies, kick flip, shun-its, rail slides & more
  • HARDWOOD CONSTRUCTION WITH ANTI-SLIP PEEVE SURFACE: premium wooden balance board Trainer with an anti-skid pad on the surface provides a secure grip for Absolute safety, max support up to 300lbs. Great for Use with, or without shoes
  • WOODEN ROLLER WITH TPE COVER: constructed of solid wood with thick TPE layer, the roller contains nontoxic chemicals for health safety. The non-slip roller works great on different types of flooring, including wood, carpet, cork, concrete and more
  • TWO REMOVABLE STOPPERS INCLUDED: The package is fully equipped with two removable stoppers and four screws to help you adjust the distance for your preferred level. There are 3 basic distances for you to choose, including 11, 16, and 22 inches
  • ENHANCE THE COORDINATION AND BALANCE: Practicing with Yes4All Balance Trainers can seriously improve stability, enhance core strength of the legs and abdomen, plus increase mobility and prevent falls and injury in the long term
  • Included Components: Board, Roller
  • ✓ IMPROVE STRENGTH & CONDITIONING – This wooden rocker board physical therapy is designed to stimulate your core and improve your agility, reaction time, and stamina, this low-impact exercise board is great for all.
  • ✓ COMPACT, PORTABLE TRAINER – At 17.5” x 13.5” x 3” in size, our lightweight balance exerciser / fit tilt board can be used at therapy or training at home, the gym, or while traveling. A perfect standing desk accessory
  • ✓ SLIP-RESISTANT SURFACE – The top of each rocker balance board features an easy-grip surface that’s gentle on bare feet but helps keep you in place safely and securely.
  • ✓ STRONG, STABLE BASE – Made of high-quality Lauan hardwood plywood from sustainable, plantation-grown timbers , stronger and last longer than others made of birch and pine plywood. This heavy-duty balancing board can hold kids and adults up to 350 lbs.
  • ✓ TRUE QUALITY ASSURANCE – The workout board / core trainer is backed by unbeatable quality and customer support, which is why they come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Wrapping Up

Much of your decision will come down to your space, budget, and preference whether to use a purpose-built standing desk or a standing desk converter. For most online ESL teachers interested in standing while teaching, we would lean towards a standing desk converter, because they offer more flexibility. They can be placed on a desk, table, or even a kitchen counter, and are portable. You can take a standing desk converter with you for the weekend or on a holiday. 

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Adil Vellani
Adil Vellani
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Adil Vellani is the co-founder of ESL Job Exchange. With more than 20 years of international experience in both the education and corporate sectors, Adil is devoted to sharing his knowledge and experience to help individuals and organizations connect and make a massive impact in the lives of ESL learners across the globe. Adil also lectures at the Sino-European Institute of Aviation Engineering, where he teaches aviation engineering students in an international degree program.
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