Multiple studies have shown the negative health effects associated with a sedentary lifestyle. This has led to efforts to promote more mobility in the workplace, encourage regular activity throughout a workday, and even boost children’s activity levels at home. But what about at school? Just as you find yourself stuck at a desk all day at work, your kids are stuck at a desk in a classroom. While they may have some periods where they’re permitted to move about, in most schools, the amount of physical activity kids get is far lower than it should be.
That’s why many schools are beginning to introduce stand-up desks for students, especially in elementary schools. And the results have been astounding. Keep reading to learn more.
In initial studies, students who are given the ability to adjust their desks and stand rather than sit had significantly improved levels of engagement with lessons. Though students moved around and fidgeted much more frequently, the additional movement did not negatively impact their ability to engage in the lessons. And, higher engagement levels greatly improved the overall classroom environment.
In addition to engaging with lessons at a higher level, students were also able to focus on assignments for longer. Researchers believe this is since children are more comfortable when they’re able to move around. Extended periods of sitting can lead to discomfort, which distracts students from the work at hand. When students can simply adjust their positions, they can prevent discomfort throughout the day. Adding Proprioceptive input (to the legs with a dynamic footrest) further enhances comfort and focus while using a standing desk.
Not only are kids more engaged and focused with standing desks, but they’re happier as well. When discomfort from long periods of sitting are not a concern, students are simply in a better mood throughout the day. Happier students, of course, also make for a happier, healthier and more productive classroom.
When given a standing desk, students with a history of behavior problems showed a significant improvement according to both their teachers and their parents. While the exact reasons for this improvement (and the levels of improvement) vary based on the student, researchers believe this may be due to the students’ ability to release pent-up energy.
When a child is sitting for more than half of their day, they’re unable to release any energy and so turn to negative behaviors to relieve some of that internal tension. This may take the form of distracting their neighbors, getting up from their desks when they shouldn’t, or having inappropriate outbursts during class. But when a child can stand, fidget, and shift from foot to foot in an approved manner, less energy is pent up, and so the child doesn’t need to turn to those negative behaviors for a release.
While research into the benefits of standing desks for students, and dynamic footrests are still in its early stages, the preliminary findings are promising. With improved focus and engagement, it’s reasonable to assume that the use of a standing desk could help to improve students’ grades and overall performance as well. Only time and further testing will tell, but a standing desk could be the answer to improving our children’s school experiences. Visit www.footfidget.com for further information.