Get a Better Test Score with Standing Desks in the Classroom
Standing for Better Test Score
It's no surprise that sitting all the time isn't healthy. We may be built for some level of idleness, but modern life pushes us well past our limit for being still. In older individuals, this shows itself in a variety of obvious health issues, but that doesn't mean adults are the only ones who should be worried. Recent research has connected constant sitting with reduced focus and low engagement resulting in a lower test score, a disservice for any young student. Of course, that's not the only reason students might benefit from standing desks, as we'll explain.
So Much Time Spent Sitting
First, let's consider just how much time the average student sits during the day. Depending on the grade and schedule, a student might be in their desk for multiple hours at a time without standing up at all. And regardless of grade and schedule, they're going to be sitting for six to eight hours at school. Add in at least another few hours of sitting on the bus or in the car, at the table doing homework, at their desk playing on the computer, in the living room watching TV, and we're looking at a true disaster of sedentary living. Some children can live this way without seeing immediate problems, but they're forming habits which will carry into adulthood- habits which will impart a lifetime of poor health.
The Difference When You Add a Standing Desk
Compare this now to the same child utilizing a standing desk. Research suggests this adds the equivalent of five miles of movement per week to the student's life. That almost single-handedly meets the exercise needs of the average child, without requiring anything more than a brief adjustment period. The ease of integrating a significant amount of exercise into the average child's day, by making it simply another component of the school day, is a strong argument alone for standing desks in school.
But What About Attention?
Research by Dr. Mark Benden, a researcher at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, shows that standing desks strongly improve student engagement. Specifically, early results showed a 15% improvement in on-task engagement according to several performance metrics - a significant improvement, equal to 9 extra minutes of instruction per hour! That extra engagement adds up in a big way over years of education. This not only improves engagement but as a result can lead to a higher test score because of that extra time that a student is fully engaged in the lesson.
Fighting Health Issues
The same research also showed significant benefits to at-rest caloric burn, meaning this might serve as a useful tool in the battle against childhood obesity beyond the obvious benefits as a form of exercise. This echoes other research into the impact of constant sitting, which has shown a significant reduction in metabolism during extended periods of sitting - and increased all-cause mortality.
As you can see, the arguments in favor of standing desks for students stack up quite high. The benefits to concentration, behavior, fitness, and overall well-being are too great to ignore, whether you're a parent, a teacher, or an older student. Whether you're looking at standing desk benefits in terms of a higher test score or public health, the results look promising either way.