Justin Sauer of Delisle Elementary School filled his classroom with standing desks, and now he is now seeing positive results in the students’ ability to pay attention and be engaged with their learning.
After the discovery that spending more time standing would help him recover from an injury, he had the idea to implement standing desks in the classroom. For his experiment, he altered old desks that were being kept in storage and introduced them in his first grade classroom. Two other teachers at the school followed suit, and report that their students stay more attentive and engaged during lessons.
The energetic first graders have opportunities to move and sit down as well, but often prefer to stay standing. One student, Dillon Wawryk, said “It’s kind of fun and it kind of makes us listen more better and stuff.” His classmate Rowan Walker said “When you stand, it gets your legs stronger, and I like the feeling.”
According to CBC news, parents have reported benefits, too. Three different families have made a point to tell Sauer that their children are sleeping more soundly now that they are expending more energy during the day with standing desks.
This approach works for high school students as well, as proven by Dr. Kirk Lewis Career and Technical High School in Pasadena. Freshman geography students began the year at traditional desks and transitioned to LearnFit Standing Desks by Ergotron.
Jason Rhodes, the school’s geography teacher, said in a press release quoted by iSchoolGuide, “Students are more actively participating in discussions and the amount of time that it takes students to complete tasks has lowered by four to five minutes, which is a big deal in a 45-minute period.” Afternoons are a tough time for teachers, as students get restless after lunch, but Rhodes reports that the standing desks solve the problem. “I’ve had no sleeping issues recorded this year, and any time I sense a potential issue I have the students change their positions, which does a great job of recapturing their attention and focus.”
It’s built for students 9 years old and up, and allows users to both adjust height to their comfort, and to move the desk easily for collaborative work. The benefits of standing while doing work as touted by a manufacturer are improvements to circulation, burning calories and muscle tone.
Ergotron is a company devoted to improving the way that humans interact with technology, and advises standing desks as a solution to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Carrie Smitz, the ergonomic and wellness research manager at Ergotron, says “Students who sit at traditional desks are hindered in both mind and body by a lack of physical activity. An abundance of research indicates that movement is integral to the development of the mind and therefore the learning process, which is exactly what our products aim to do– encourage healthy behavior and improve student learning.” Joshua Bolkan of THE Journal reports that each desk costs $499.