Why Standing Classrooms Are Beneficial for Learning
Standing Classrooms Benefits
Children spend anywhere from 50-70% of their time in school sitting down. This gives kids a disadvantage early in life since prolonged sitting is linked to poorer health later in life. Schools across the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia are now following recommendations to break up long periods of sitting with frequent breaks. But is this enough? Research now shows that standing desks in a classroom environment may help health outcomes by improving BMI, increasing energy expenditure and cognitive function, and potentially improving management of students' behavior.
Diving into the Solution
Dr. Mark Benden, associate professor and head of Texas A&M University's Environmental and Occupational Health Department of Public Health, led a research study on the health implications of childhood obesity and the effect that standing desks in classrooms had on this issue. The study found that there was a statistically significant reduction in BMI in the group that used standing desks for two years compared to a control group that did not.
Dr. Benden believes that an activity permissive learning environment (APLE) is the best kind of setting for children. A kinesthetic classroom, one that is modeled after learning by carrying out physical activities rather than sitting listening to lectures, has the potential to impact health outcomes positively as well as enhance learning for children. His research has shown that engaging students by helping them to be active is helpful for cognitive functioning, student focus, and classroom management.
Giving Kids a Head Start
Although research is still in the early stages, standing desks can at least negate some of the effects of sitting too long, particularly in the classroom. By improving children's BMI, these standing desks can give kids an early start to head off health problems later in life like weight gain, obesity, and heart disease.
There's even some evidence that standing classrooms can increase productivity, which can lead to higher academic outcomes in the long run. By sitting less and moving more, standing desks can at the very least improve sedentary behavior in children and combat childhood obesity, which is fast becoming an epidemic across the globe. Contact VARIDESK Education today to find out more about standing desks or school desk grants.