Kids Desks. How to select the right desk for your child.

by / Monday, 13 July 2015 / Published in Sitting
good posture

The set up of kids desks is of equal importance to the set up of kids chairs. 

When looking to improve our working posture or that of our kids, we usually consider the features of the chair.

Do we look at the desk as an equal?

Not always.

It’s easy to fail to understand that the choice of desk and its setup is equally as important as the choice of chair, in establishing an environment conducive to effective learning, comfort and health.

Think of a kids desk like a work bench in a factory designed for production.  It should provide the following:

-Easy access to the correct tools for work.

-Position the task at the right height and location to improve access and ease of use.

-Promote safe and efficient working.  

Now think of your own experiences and how difficult it was was work at a desk or bench that was too small or the wrong height.

Adjustable kids desks designed to support their working needs are essential.  They are able to change height, size, angle, and layout as children grow or the tasks they undertake change.

Adjustable kids desks are also easy to alter to support activities in sitting or standing.

When looking to purchase a desk for your child consider the following features.

1. Height adjustable

Many desks, especially school desks are too high for smaller kids. This means that a higher chair is needed. Without getting too complicated – generally this will then mean that a footrest is needed for your child so their legs don’t dangle. You can accommodate this with a wad of copy paper or a small box under their feet. The difficulty is that for some children, that solution is short lived as it is forgotten, kicked out of the way or found to be very undesirable.

Can the desk be adjusted to allow for working when sitting or standing and also accommodate a child’s growth?  It really is essential that kids move more. Providing options for standing as per a recommended program, are so important to prevent the well accepted health effects of sedentary activities. 

2. Tilting desktop

Reading and writing can be achieved more effectively and with a better posture when performed using an angled desktop.  Each task has an ideal angle of slope. Whilst sloping boards can be purchased they are generally at a fixed height or with set increments. The ability to change the slope with ease as it’s needed for the task at hand is highly beneficial to the task and more valuable than often appreciated when looking at neck posture.

3. Space

Plenty of working space to encourage appropriate movement and task performance is important. Cluttered and cramped conditions do not facilitate a clear mind, the ability to learn or facilitate good postures.

4. Extendability

The ability for you to add onto a desk to support varying study, homework, IT and play needs of your child as they progress through their schooling years is not only sensible but highly cost effective. When it comes to kids – everything grows. Keeping the growing budget in check is for most families a major consideration.

5. Ease of Adjustability

There is no point having an adjustable desk or an adjustable desktop if you and your child can’t adjust it easily, safely and regularly.

Ease of adjustability also improves safety. If you need to tip your childs desk over to adjust the leg length, do you feel this is safe or likely to occur? If you have to bend frequently and load up with weight to adjust a desk, is this safe enough for you?

Help your children learn and develop work habits to prepare them for increasingly flexible learning and workplace office designs of the future.

6. Quality and Environmentally friendly

It tends to go without saying that most of us prefer quality goods that will last. Usually, despite a higher start up spend they prove to be cost effective over time.

The fabrication of goods that are environmentally friendly and low emission for our kids will help improve their health and that of the planet they live on.

7. Warranty

Having a good warranty is an individual choice when purchasing. It’s really important that you check however. You may be happy with a very limited warranty on an inexpensive item that you plan to replace as it breaks or fails to meet the needs of your child. But be sure you are making an educated decision.

Good furniture designed to last comes with a good warranty.

About the Author

Angela is an Occupational Therapist/ Ergonomic Consultant at Acorn Ergonomics. Angela loves to help kids develop to be the very best that they can be, in the healthiest way possible and has a special interest in modifying the environment to accommodate their individual needs.

*Featured furniture by Moll.

*Image by Acorn Ergonomics.