Despite technological advancements in the 21st classroom, many still have an old Leave it to Beaver view of children sitting neatly and quietly in a classroom every day. That notion is certainly antiquated in today’s day and age.
Kids are taking a stand, and you know what? They’re liking it. According to an article by Jenny Quill, contributing writer for Gazebonews.com, “Standing Desks Are Upstanding New Trend at Lake Bluff, Lake Forest Schools,” students at Lake Bluff and Lake Forest elementary and middle schools in Illinois are learning about the pioneer days, even as they pioneer a new wave of school reform—using standing desks in classrooms as a means to introduce healthier movement into the long school day.
But that’s not all. Educators and district leaders are exploring active classrooms as a means to help increase focus and engagement in the classroom. According to Sue Barkhausen, Learning Resource Teacher at Everett Elementary School, “Current research supports the fact that students who use standing desks exhibit increased on-task behavior, alertness, and attentiveness during academic instruction.”
And the research is growing, here in the Midwest, and throughout the world. Does the act of standing more have implications on learning behavior, test scores, overall health of the students?
Carrie Schmitz, Ergonomic & Wellness Research Manager here at Ergotron, is working with global researchers to explore these questions in education to mirror the work previously done with standing in the workplace.
“We believe that health and achievement go hand-in-hand, and sit-stand solutions in the classroom help teach the whole child,” said Schmitz. “Creating opportunities for physical activity (what the CDC defines as “bodily movement that results in an expenditure of energy), within the classroom is an ideal setting to establish healthy habits in children that help to grow healthy adults.”
The introduction of sit-stand desks in education should also be welcome news to the percentage of student population requiring, as Jenny Quill states it, “an outlet for all that youthful, excess energy by allowing students to fidget freely, without disrupting others.”
And for those looking at pilots like that of Lake Bluff and Lake Forest elementary and middle schools, we say this, “Explore on!” We’ll be tracking your progress and sharing our findings in the months ahead.
Check back soon on our blog for more information on Ergotron’s sit-stand efforts in education.