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Kids are spending more time than ever sitting. Virtual learning is now the new normal, and kids spend hours in front of their computers or tablets learning from home. It’s so important that kids are comfortable while they’re learning and that their bodies stay supported. Many parents are searching for desks and desk chairs right now to help their kids tackle remote learning successfully, but it’s important to know which items are best for kids’ growing bodies.
Michelle Despres, an ergonomist and physical therapist at One Call, says that when it comes to picking the right desk chair for kids, “adjustability is key.” “At a minimum, a chair should allow for adjustment of height,” she told Parenting. “It is a great idea to have an adjustable back and adjustable seat pan tilt, and if it has arms, they should have height modification options.”
If you’re thinking of just using a chair you already own, you might want to reconsider. “Since children may be smaller in stature, having one chair for the entire family to use may not always be a perfect fit,” says Despres.
Picking out an ergonomic desk chair is one way for kids to feel comfortable and stay focused while learning. And because kids are expected to sit for extended periods of time, there are even wiggle chairs that support their spines while allowing them to move.
When shopping for a desk chair for kids, Despres has some expert tips to consider:
- The ideal sitting position is leaning all the way back in the chair with shoulders relaxed and feet flat on the floor.
- The seat pan should not be pushing against the back of the knees, and if possible, there should be a space of about two finger widths.
- If a child uses an adult-sized chair, consider adding a footrest to support feet, so they’re not dangling.
Once you purchase a chair, you should check every few weeks that it’s still suited to your child height. Kids grow so fast, so you may find yourself adjusting the settings multiple times a year.
“Remember that any changes to the chair may impact the monitor height, keyboard height, and foot support,” says Despres. “Additional workstation adjustments might be needed to make an ideal workstation environment and reduce the risk of fatigue, discomfort, and injuries. These modifications will drastically improve comfort, productivity, and well-being. Remember to take micro-breaks and change positions frequently to promote healthy circulation.”
Below, check out our picks for the eight best desk chairs for kids to shop online in 2020.