Why Using an Ergonomic Chair for Teaching Online is Important
Online ESL teachers spend anywhere from a few to several hours per week sitting at their desks while teaching. That does not include the time they sit at their desk while not teaching. While most online ESL teachers place a high priority on the computer and headset they use to teach online, they often overlook the importance of the chair they are sitting in. If you think about it logically, the chair you sit in while teaching online and for other tasks you do at your desk should in fact be one of the most important pieces of equipment in your work space.
The challenge of choosing an ergonomic chair is that there is no particular chair that will be the right fit for everyone. We all have different body types, and our workstations are set up differently. A chair only becomes ergonomic when that chair supports your body, your work environment, the specific tasks you perform while working at your desk, and how you perform these tasks.
According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS):
What Features does an Ergonomic Chair Have?
CCOH suggests that an ergonomic chair have the following features:
- Seat height: the seat can be raised and lowered to suit the user’s height, allowing their feet to comfortably reach the floor while also being able to comfortably perform their work
- Backseat: the backseat can be raised or lowered horizontally, and is adjustable vertically
- Seat: the seat angle is adjustable to fit the user’s height and reach
- Armrests: the armrests are adjustable for both height and width to provide comfort and support to the user’s arms
- Lumbar Support: the backseat should provide adequate lumbar support without creating too much pressure
- Backseat Height and Width: the backseat should be high and wide enough to support the user without restricting movement
- Seat Depth: the seat should support the user’s height without causing pressure at the back of the knees, with the back supported by the backrest, and support through the buttocks and thighs
- Seat Width: the seat should be wide enough to provide comfort and even pressure across the seat
- Seat Surface: the seat surface should be comfortable, and made from breathable materials that minimize heat and moisture buildup
- Chair Base: the chair base should provide adequate stability, preferably having a 5-point base
Thus, in your search for an ergonomic chair for online teaching, the only person who can decide which one is best for you – is you. What we can do is recommend ergonomic chairs that are affordable for online ESL teachers and offer these features.
Best Ergonomic Chairs for Online Teachers
Here are the ergonomic chairs we recommend for online teachers from least to most expensive:
This ergonomic chair has a removable headrest and adjustable lumbar support, and can withstand up to 250 pounds. The backrest is reclinable and the seat height is adjustable up to 21 inches. The armrests are hinged but cannot be freely adjusted for height. This chair also has a thick seat cushion.
Easy to assemble and no additional tools needed, this is a decent ergonomic chair for online ESL teachers that costs less than $200 and comes with a one year warranty.
This attractive, highly adjustable ergonomic chair. Nearly every part of this chair can be adjusted to your needs. The headrest can be adjusted for height, the armrest has 6 presets for height adjustment, and the seat height can be lowered and raised between 17.32 to 21.25 inches. The backrest can recline between 102 to 120 degrees, and the seat and backrest are made of quality breathable material to allow for extreme comfort.
This ergonomic chair is under $250, comes with a one year product warranty as well as a 3 year parts warranty, and is an excellent chair for teaching online.
This ergonomic chair is a seriously awesome chair and pretty much every part of it is highly adjustable. The headrest adjusts in height up to 4.7 inches and rotates 45 degrees to support your head and neck. The backrest can rock back and forth between 90 to 135 degrees. The lumbar support is provided via a waist pillow and the lumbar support can be adjusted 2.2 inches up or down and 1.6 inches forward or backward. The armrests can also be adjusted up to 2.7 inches. The backrest is made from meshed fabric while the seat is made from a wide and thick cushion (as is the headrest), allowing for maximum breathability and comfort while sitting in this chair. This chair has a sturdy base that.
The price tag on this ergonomic chair is close to $300, but it really is hard to beat it for comfort, support, and durability, especially if you teach online for several hours a day.
The unique features of this ergonomic chair make it interesting for those who want more control over the headrest, which tilts backward and forward 45 degrees, and can be raised up to 2 inches in height. Its armrests are not only height adjustable, but can also flip up and get out of your way when needed. The backseat tilts backward and forward between 90 degrees (upright) and 130 degrees (reclined). The chair can support up to 280 pounds of weight, so while not the heavyweight champion, it will support most users. This is a fully mesh fabric chair, allowing for high breathability. It also has lumbar support, though it is not adjustable. Larger than most other ergonomic chairs, this one has a height range between 43.7 and 49.6 inches.
This ergonomic chair is priced under $350, and may be suitable for online ESL teachers who need the added height. It also comes with a one year warranty
This ergonomic chair can support a whopping 330 pounds of weight, and is highly adjustable, not to mention unique in that its wheels are rollerblade wheels! This makes it easier to move across the floor. It is highly adjustable in so many ways to achieve maximum comfort and support for your body and posture while sitting. This chair has an incredible lumbar support that is adjustable and its backseat is reclinable between 90 degrees (upright) to 220 degrees (reclined). The chair can be adjusted for height between 42 to 46 inches, and has a thick, wide seat that is made of quality, breathable material, as well as a mesh back seat to allow air flow.
Under $350, this ergonomic chair is a little on the pricey side, but it as popular as it is comfortable, and comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee
Improve Sitting Comfort with Seat Cushions
As we’ve mentioned, everyone will have unique needs, so finding a one-size-fits-all ergonomic chair isn’t realistic. For some people, adding a seat cushion can add much needed comfort, especially if you are sitting for hours while teaching online. What’s also great about seat cushions is that you can place them on any chair – not just on your ergonomic chair for online teaching, but also on dining chairs, arm chairs, and car seats.
Here are some of the bestselling seat cushions we recommend:
As an online ESL teacher, it’s easy to neglect the importance of having a good, comfortable chair to sit on while teaching. Online ESL teachers tend to focus more on the tools of the trade, such as computers, headsets, lighting, props and teaching aids. But your health matters, too, and while these are important aspects to being a good online ESL teacher, they should take a back seat to your back health and posture. Some online ESL teachers also find standing more comfortable and liberating while teaching online, and use standing desks. Decide what’s best for you, but whatever you decide, do yourself a favor and put your back health and posture on the top of your priority list.