Innovative New Program Gets Kids Moving at School

by Heather Lielmanis March 21, 2017

Innovative New Program Gets Kids Moving at School

Since launching standing desks for the classroom into the Canadian marketplace in 2016, the team at Fitneff has been inspired by the positive feedback from both teachers and students. As with adults, it is simply unhealthy for children and teenagers to be seated for long periods of time throughout the day. Educators know this, and it is why so much work goes into keeping kids moving. Recess, gym class and periods of Daily Physical Activity (also known as DPA) are all intended to allow students to be physically active during the school day. 

Still, Ottawa school teacher Nathan Rice felt that he needed to go further to encourage the kids in his classroom to get moving. “Even with regular breaks throughout the day, some kids just struggle to stay focused when they’re sitting in the classroom for long stretches at a time. Kids respond well to short activity breaks. Sometimes, it’s all that they need to get back to the lesson, or to get back to their work.”

This is what drove Nathan Rice to engage his brother Matthew, who also had experience working with kids, to help him create the Free the Numbum program. They started by creating short, fun and energetic videos to be played in front of the classroom, to introduce a quick activity break during an otherwise long session of teaching or focused work. 

Free the Numbum

The videos worked so well for Nathan's students, the brothers decided to create a self-serve website that could be accessed by other teachers at any time, allowing them to use the video content in their classrooms.

“We deliver high energy and spontaneous video content that will get students excited about being active.” Nathan Rice explains. “You don’t need a lot of space, or any special equipment. Our hope is that these experiences will refresh and rejuvenate our students both physically and mentally, and that they will begin to understand the importance of Daily Physical Activity (DPA).” 

The program now features an entire series of videos that encourage a wide variety of activities, including stretching, jumping jacks, scissor kicks, squats and karate chops. New content is being added all the time. Some videos allow students to work with a partner and complete activities together. Students can also set goals, gather points for completing videos, and track progress as a group. 

The program has received extremely positive feedback from teachers and students:

“I can use Free the Numbum as a break when I can see that the students are becoming overwhelmed by the academic portion of our day. It is great for indoor recess. It can be used as an incentive, or a reward for completing a task or a goal.” - Teacher

“ It’s a great way to take a break, and it’s strenuous enough to get the heart rates up.” - Teacher

“ Our class loves it. The whole class goes crazy when the teacher says it’s time for Free the Numbum.”  - Student

The Free the Numbum Challenge begins this week! 

From March 20 - April 13, teachers have the opportunity to participate in Free the Numbum for a chance to win! Register today, complete videos, earn points and win prizes, including a standing desk for the classroom from Fitneff. 

For more details, and to sign up yourself, visit Free the Numbum today!

Kudos to Nathan, Matthew, and to all the amazing educators across the country who are using innovation and fun to inspire kids to be healthy and active at school. 

Heather Lielmanis
Heather Lielmanis


Fitneff is dedicated to providing innovative products and solutions that help busy people make their productive time more active. Fitneff offers a full suite of walking desks, sit-stand desks and active accessories that allow you to incorporate movement into your day at work, at home, and at school. Email: Direct: 1-416-727-4328 @hlielmanis

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in WalkTop™ News

Congratulations to the winner of a Classroom Standing Desk

by ron B June 23, 2017

View full article →

Entire Classroom Benefits from One Standing Desk
Entire Classroom Benefits from One Standing Desk

by Janine Dilger June 04, 2017

What began as an attempt to meet the needs of a specific student who requires a lot of movement throughout the school day, ended up benefitting an entire class, and its teachers.

 Heather Thompson, a Grade Five Teacher at Calgary Christian School, received a Stand2Learn Standing Desk for use in her classroom in February 2017. And, according to her, it came “at the perfect time.”

 “Initially, our class was selected to use the desk for...

View full article →

Sit-stand Desk Provides Health Benefits and Inspiration
Sit-stand Desk Provides Health Benefits and Inspiration

by Heather Lielmanis May 25, 2017

Julie Robinson, Program Coordinator for the Writers' Guild of Alberta, recently starting using a DT1 sit-stand desk from Fitneff. 

This desk is specifically designed for laptop users, as the work surface was designed to support a laptop computer (unlike other sit-stand desk options that support various desktop computer configurations, including a choice of one or two large monitors).

View full article →