While the concept of standing desks is still a new one in education, there are examples that schools are moving away from the traditional “sitting all the time” approach to a standing and moving environment, says a CNN Tech article.
One of the first schools in the United States to provide adjustable standing desks in every middle school classroom says that students can use the desks to stand, sit or even kneel. The school’s head, Scott Baytosh, has been using a standing desk himself for six years, and is of the opinion that:
Kids need to move and so often in education, we tell them to stop moving, sit still, sit up, pay attention. Here we are, allowing them just enough movement to be more comfortable and focus so that they can focus their mental energy on what the lesson is asking them, not thinking, “I’m really uncomfortable. I wish I could move right now.”
One of the most popular features of some standing desks, are so-called fidget bars on the bottom of the desk. As the name implies, the give the kids a chance to fidget or swing the bar without affecting anyone around them.
What are the Benefits?
In a study, over the course of a school year, researchers found a 12% greater “on-task” engagement, or an extra seven minutes per hour of engaged instruction, in classrooms with standing desks. Engagement was measured by activities such as whether students were focused on their teacher when the teacher was speaking and raised their hands and participated in class discussions.
Another research found that students who worked at standing desks burn 15% to 25% more calories than students in seated desks. If schools can’t afford a lot of standing desks or fit them all in the classroom, it will be a good idea to have at least some so that the kids can rotate through.
This is also a departure from the more traditional cues for kids to ‘Sit, be quiet and learn,’ so the sitting is kind of ingrained from a very early age. But if such behaviours can be changed now, standing will become the norm, so that when these individuals go into the workplace, they will hopefully expect similar furniture and will be reducing their overall sitting time, which hopefully should then have long-term benefits to health.
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