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Do students learn better while standing up?

2015/10/19

                                                 A Stand2Learn standing desk and stool. (Courtesy of Stand2Learn)


  The standing desk trend has moved from the offices to the classrooms of California. Proponents claim that standing desks keep Elementary School kids active all day, allowing them to burn off excess energy and concentrate, without having to wiggle around in their chairs. Some educators say that it's a very natural solution.


"When schools tell children to sit still and be quiet, you've almost wounded them. They want to be wiggling and fidgeting and moving."


  Increasing the amount of movement at schools, from standing desks to upright activities, has been shown to improve student behaviour and performance, allowing students to burn calories and help fight the rising trend of obesity in children.


  It can be expensive to convert a classroom to the standing desk model. Leaving some educators arguing that providing more activities in lessons that allow students to stand up could be just as effective, and not require the purchase of new desks.


  Regardless, sitting too much can lead to disease and orthopedic dysfunction, and impede on a children's ability to focus, and learn. Kids at standing desks burn 15% to 25% more calories during the school day than the kids who remained sitting through lessons. Standing also maintains the integrity of the complex motor skills required for optimal physical function. So certainly are benefits to a more upright and active classroom, and it could be a good way to literally break up the stagnation in education that many parents and educators complain about. Certainly children have responded positively to standing desks in the schools which have implemented them. It will be interesting to see if this trend ever comes to Japan, and what it implies for teachers.

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