Improving our lives, our children's lives and the lives of others is often a complicated and tiring task, but that isn’t always the case. Right now there is something we can all do to improve lives with hardly an ounce of effort. It’s time to build a movement to change the classroom environment, for the health of the children it shapes.
Most children spend 50-70% of their time at school sitting at desks. It’s likely unsurprising that sitting for extended periods of time as a child is associated with poor health outcomes as an adult. Fortunately, there's a simple, overlooked solution to these problems - standing classrooms. Over the last several years a number of studies have shown that the benefits of the increased freedom and range of movement students experience when using standing desks in schools are surprisingly broad. Some standing benefits are intuitive, like the discovery that standing desks in schools lead to an overall lower BMI among students and cut down on their chances of childhood obedsity. Other standing benefits in classrooms are more surprising, like the research that suggests standing desks encourage higer levels of collaboration and engagement amoung students.
Reduces Risk for Several Health Concerns
Standing desks also help to reduce the risk of a number of diseases, from obesity and heart disease to mental health illnesses like depression. Sedentary lifestyles are a major factor when adolescents suffer from poor mental health, while higher activity levels reduce the chances of a child experiencing such an illness.
A cornucopia of research has shown that sitting still for long periods of time is especially tough for the growing number of children with ADHD and is a part of what creates the difficulty some of those children experience in the learning environment. Placing standing desks in schools allow these children, in particular, to hone their ability to focus and learn more readily and easily.
Create a Smooth Transition
The benefits of bring standing desks into schools are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore, but it is important for children to transition steadily, careful that they don’t strain their muscles transitioning too quickly to standing and moving for long periods of time. Standing desks usually offer a full range of motion, which includes the option to sit or lean without losing the eye-level of the rest of the class, and that full range of motion is important. Sitting isn’t some horrible thing we should never do. The problem is that we do it too much, and so do our children. By breaking up the sitting with standing desks in standing classrooms, children will have a much greater chance to succeed and be healthy.
With all of this evidence at hand, it’s time to make a change. Time to stand up for standing up! Talk to your children's school principal, your Parent-Teacher Association, and your local community groups about standing classrooms and the benefits of bringing standing desks to your school. Children grow up so fast, and they deserve to grow up with all the best possible opportunities available. Something as simple as a desk could be making a major difference. Become a part of the Standup Kids Movement today to stand up for kids!