Here at Fitneff, we’ve had an amazing response to the news of our launch of Stand2Learn sit-stand desks for the classroom. We’ve also had a number of very good questions. Today I would like to take some time to respond to these very important questions about sit-stand desks in the classroom.
The purpose of a sit-stand desk is to allow students to remain productive and engaged in learning while they easily move between sitting and standing. Sitting for long periods of time, which is typical in many learning environments, is not only unhealthy, it can also impede a child’s ability to focus and learn. Studies conducted at Texas A&M University have shown that the use of sit-stand desks in the classroom comes with many benefits. These include:
In addition to these benefits, a study was published recently that indicates that sit-stand desks in classrooms have also shown to be effective in slowing the increase in the body mass index (BMI) of elementary school students. The BMI is a key indicator of obesity.
While all of this evidence is extremely positive, there are still many outstanding questions. Here are the answers to some of your most pressing questions.
Q: My child is active and healthy. Why do I need to worry about sitting in the classroom?
A: Regular exercise does not offset the negative effect of sitting.
The school day is structured to allow students to have plenty of opportunities for physical activity. These include regular Phys Ed classes, multiple recess breaks and the availability of extra curricular activities, among others. However, even with these amazing active breaks throughout the day, it is not healthy for students to be sitting for long periods of time.
Q: If my child uses a sit-stand desk, does he/she still need other physical activity?
A: A sit-stand desk does not replace daily physical activity and exercise.
Sit-stand desks allow the student to easily move between sitting and standing, which encourages movement in the classroom even while learning is taking place. It is not, however, intended to replace other activities such as outdoor play or more vigorous exercise such as a soccer game or dance class. Both are required for students’ optimal health and well-being.
Q: Are you suggesting that children should be standing all day?
A: Standing all day is not the solution.
Continuous movement is the key. The goal of a sit-stand desk is not to stand for long periods of time, and or to eliminate sitting altogether. By simply giving students the opportunity to choose between sitting and standing, they are able to adjust their physical position in the classroom, while continuing to focus on learning.
Q: I’ve heard of sit-stand desks for the office. Are they really meant for kids?
A: The Benefits of Sit-Stand Desks Are Available to Kids and Adults Alike
The body is meant to move! Whether you are a child in school or an adult at work, a sit-stand desk can break up long periods of sitting while remaining focused and productive. Just like with other principles of a healthy lifestyle – eating well, getting lots of rest and regular exercise – avoiding long periods of sedentary behaviour is important for children and adults alike.
Sit-stand desks in the classroom allow students to take a break from sitting without interrupting their work, or their attention on the lesson. Continuous movement throughout the school day, combined with regular exercise, a healthy diet and plenty of rest at night are all important to a student’s health and well-being, and success in the classroom.
If you have any questions about our Stand2Learn desks, please contact me directly! I would love to hear from you.
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Spring if finally upon us! With the opening of the windows and doors, along with sunshine and fresh air, we are greeted with so many new opportunities to get active that don’t seem so apparent during the winter months. Getting outdoors takes much less preparation and effort. Being outdoors is pleasant and easy (at least for those of us who prefer warmer weather). The benefits of being active in spring go beyond just feeling good and being healthy, and might not be what you expect. Let’s take a look.
I had the honour of speaking with Olive Myhre the day after her 105th birthday. Olive has lived through events that most of us only read about in history books, including two World Wars, the introduction of the automobile, the invention of the computer, and man’s first steps on the moon. I was able to learn about her life and her perspective on health and happiness. Here is our interview.