For many of us, September is a time of renewed energy and new beginnings. This is true especially for teachers and students who are about to start another new school year. Teachers now have new reason to feel encouraged about the year ahead thanks to new research and new equipment. The recent introduction of stand-biased desks, designed for the classroom, allows educators to incorporate movement into the school day in their classrooms as never before. This is exciting news for teachers and students alike because movement, or increased physical activity throughout the school day, can increase the likelihood of a successful school year for all involved.
Physical activity during recess and regularly scheduled Phys Ed classes are critical to both the health and education of children. And educators are now able to introduce movement into the classroom in a way that does not take away from valuable instruction time. Stand-biased desks allow students to move easily between sitting and standing while they are actively engaged in the classroom without disrupting their studies.
According to Dr. Mark Benden, Director of the Ergonomics Center at Texas A&M University, and designer of the original Stand2Learn desk, this phenomenon is referred to as “postural variety.” That is, students have the maximum flexibility to choose between sitting and standing while in class, allowing optimum movement when participating in a learning environment.
Stand-biased desks in the classroom have proven to offer many benefits for students, including an increase in student engagement and improved cognition, among others. Just this week, Dr. Benden and his team published a study that indicates that standing desks in classrooms have also shown to slow the increase in elementary school children’s body mass index (BMI)—a key indicator of obesity—by an average of 5.24 percentile points. The research was published in the American Journal of Public Health.
In addition to the benefits for students, the many benefits for teachers are also compelling. Having more engaged, more alert students in the classroom is certainly positive, but the perks can extend even further, including:
The research creates a compelling story to support movement in the classroom as stand-biased desks can improve the classroom experience for teachers and students alike. A fresh start to another academic year is full of anticipation and promise. In addition to the traditional supplies required at the beginning of the school year, stand-biased desks should be considered for the best outcome possible.
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It’s the time you’ve been waiting for all morning at work: the long-awaited lunch break. The moment that you can sit back, enjoy your meal and relax with a much-deserved break from work.
While you may be tempted to stay seated at your desk, there are many ways that you can spend your lunch break that are more healthy and active. Who says your lunch break has to be sedentary too? Check out five healthy ways to use your break at work.
Summer is on its way out, and the delightfully chilly fall season is already stepping through the door. With the drop in temperature and the changing colour of the trees, it’s incredibly tempting to stay indoors where it’s warm and smells like apple cider, pumpkin pie and ginger spice.
But this beautiful and bountiful season has so much to offer in terms of keeping active! Take advantage of the gorgeous weather and keep active this fall season with one of the eight suggestions here.