April 19, 2022 3 min read
Sedentary behaviour in children has long been known to produce negative health outcomes. In fact, the World Health Organisation Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour strongly recommended that “children and adolescents should limit the amount of time spent being sedentary”.
Studies have highlighted that higher amount of sedentary behaviour is associated with poorer behavioural conduct and prosocial behaviour. In a classroom environment, this is detrimental to a child’s ability to effectively learn and engage with educational material. Yet, even with extensive research and official guidelines warning against sedentary behaviour, studies have found that the average student spends 60 per cent of their day sitting.
Sedentary behaviour in the classroom can have adverse effects on a child’s ability learn, that’s why teachers are challenged to minimise and break up long periods of sitting. But, how can you do this without significantly disrupting the learning process? The answer is in sit stand desks.
Sit Stand desks are a flexible seating option that features a wide height-adjustability range in order to ergonomically support a seated and standing position.
“Flexible furniture refers to furniture specifically designed to facilitate and encourage movement in the classroom.”
With sit stand desks, students are able to transition from a seated to standing position throughout the day to reduce the time spent sedentary and maximise their overall comfort and productivity.
Sit Stands desks are designed to combat excessive sedentary behaviour. As we mentioned, this kind of behaviour is common in classroom environments where students are traditionally required to focus and sit still. But preventing students from adjusting their position and moving could actually be doing the exact opposite.
Sit stand desks have a number of physical benefits that help improve important health risk factors including physical inactivity, high blood pressure and high body mass index. But in the classroom, sit stand desks provide a number of important behavioural benefits that can help improve students’ overall learning outcomes.
Studies have revealed that sit stand desks have resulted in “several engagement and affective outcomes” including improved attention and decreased restlessness in class. Notably, more than one-third of the students who used sit stand desks over a two-week period reported increases in focus, engagement and reduced fatigue and boredom during class.
By incorporating sit stand desks into the classroom, students can tailor their learning experience to suit their immediate needs. This alternative seating solution keeps students engaged by encouraging students to reposition to maximise comfort which allows them to engage with the academic material effectively and efficiently. In this regard, sit stand desks prevent disruptive behaviour by providing an outlet for students to move and emit excess energy and get reinspired to learn.
Whilst it’s not necessary, or even wise to replace all desks with sit stand desks, it’s important that these desks are available as an alternative seating option in any flexible and future-focused classroom.
To effectively implement sit stand desks into your classroom, we’d recommend starting small and slow. Introduce three to five temporary sit stand desks like the Oslo or Helsinki to assess how your students respond to this alternative seating solution. These desks are a portable and compact sit stand desk that is effective for tasks that require students’ attention for extended periods of time, like presentations, lectures, or discussions. This will ensure students can intuitively break up excessive sedentary behaviour without interrupting class learning.
Since these desks transition from seated to standing, they should be placed toward the back of the classroom to ensure it does not obstruct the view of those seated. If you notice the benefits countless studies predict your students will experience, introduce more sit stand desks into the classroom.
Classrooms of the future are designed around the student and sit stand desks do exactly that. By offering sit stand desks as an alternative to traditional seating options, students can choose whether they require such flexible furniture in order to better engage with the content they’re learning.
Reed Furniture has been supplying school furniture for over 45 years. So, you can trust that our team can point you in the right direction when it comes to facilitating a classroom your students can thrive in. Contact our team today to get started!
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