Recently, schools have been introducing standing desks into classrooms and finding great success. Not only does it keep the students active and awake, but also it is helping them become more engaged, interested, and healthy.
From first graders to high school seniors, researchers are showing that all students benefit. At Dr. Kirk Lewis Career and Technical High School in Pasadena, geography teacher Jason Rhodes reports that his students have cut down 4 to 5 minutes for each activity, saving a lot of time in 45-minute class periods. Students are able to easily change their position and even fidget appropriately while not getting distracted. Research has shown that many people need to move while they learn, even more so for people with ADHD who need movement in order to store and process information. Standing constantly increasing that activity level, and some desks are even fashioned with footrests, so students have more flexibility with choosing how they stand. The students also feel more in control. While these schools are providing the option to sit, many more students are opting to stand. Finally, there are notable health benefits. One researcher has shown that students are burning 114 kilocalories, or about one half-candy bar, per day just by standing. It also helps to expend more energy, possibly leading to better sleep at night and can improve circulation and muscle tone.
Teachers and administrators have the option to buy standing desks from companies like Ergotron, but many are using recycled materials, such as old desks or exercise equipment. Poor health is an ever-growing concern in our country and around the world, and this could be a step in the right direction in continuing to make schools health friendly places where students learn positive health habits.
Contributor: Raina Searles