How Standing Desks Can Help Students Focus in the Classroom

How Standing Desks Can Help Students Focus in the Classroom

Standing desks are a great way to help students focus in the classroom. The lack of physical activity when sitting down all day can be detrimental for their health, so it’s important that they’re used wisely and only during certain parts within lesson time if at all possible.

There are many benefits to using standing desks in the classroom. For example, they can help promote better posture and circulation, as well as increase alertness and focus. Additionally, they can also help reduce fidgeting and restlessness.

While the rise of the standing desk may appear to be a reaction to today’s eat-at-your-desk, hunched-over employee chained to her computer, history tells another story: Hemingway, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and some famous writers all stood while they worked.[1]

Although standing desks are becoming more popular in workplaces, they haven’t caught on as much in schools. Some factors contributing to this include cost, convenience, and the view that “it’s best to sit still and pay attention when learning.”

A Study Conducted by Benden

Though often disparaged, standing desks might hold the key to better academic performance in children. Mark Benden, an Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at Texas A&M Health Science Center stated that he involved the educational psychology department of Texas A&M to research whether students were more attentive during class and with their work when they stood up.

The researchers, who were unaware of the study, sat in classrooms for two years and used a variety of indicators to assess students’ attention and engagement, including how many times they looked at the teacher, how frequently they wrote on their papers, and how frequently they were distracted by a neighbor.

The new article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health details the findings from a group of 374 elementary school students located in College Station, Texas. [2]

The students were split into two groups: a control group using traditional desks, and a standing desk group. Each student in both groups had biometric monitors – which Benden referred to as “research-level Fitbits” – attached to their arm. These devices tracked several measurements, such as heart rate and intensity of movement, and then calculated the caloric burn. The desks were designed and built by Stand2Learn, a local startup which Benden partially owns.

“We quickly realized they [the students] are more active, they are burning more calories, at the standing desks,” Benden said. “And they’re not necessarily standing the whole time. There’s a stool, too, but even sitting in a stool is different from sitting in a chair. It’s really not sitting or standing – because it opens up your trunk-thigh angle, you’re able to breathe better, and you’re able to swing your legs.”

Benden said that, surprisingly, the children who were overweight or obese in the study burned more calories at the standing desks than their normal-weight peers. “It’s interesting,” he said. “When you’re thinking about intervention, the children who are normal weight don’t experience a significant change from being in a seated classroom. But overweight kids get a bigger bump, and they’re the ones who need it the most.”

According to Benden, it’s not productive to remain in one position all day; instead, he suggests staying active. He feels strongly that the “gospel of movement” should be shared, where everyone understands the importance of being active and free to move around. If you’re a modern student or office worker, standing for a part of the day is a great way to stay active. “We used to be more active, but over time we got conditioned to being inactive,” Benden said. “It’s not normal, and it’s not how we were intended to be. When schools tell children to sit still and be quiet, you’ve almost wounded them. They want to be wiggling and fidgeting and moving.”

The findings of the study were significant: students were more involved in activity-friendly learning settings than in conventional seated ones. Children who were overweight or obese showed greater improvements in attention than normal-weight children.

Why Standing Desks are Good for Students (and Teachers)

Group of students inside the university library

In addition to health benefits, you will experience many academic advantages by using a standing desk as a kids study desk. Although it may not be the only thing you need to produce an A student, it can certainly help them develop study habits and absorb more information thanks to the standing workstations’ impact on their physical health. Students who use standing desks have more confidence, feel less tired, and perform better in class. They also have improved social skills and engagement among their peers.

1. Encourages Healthier Lifestyle Tendencies

The impact of positive health habits in childhood may be seen throughout their entire lives. Integration of standing desks within the classroom may help to encourage healthy living habits such as sitting less, stretching more, and being generally more active.

2. Increased Focus

Students and teachers can benefit from standing while working at a desk since it may help them to concentrate better, allowing them to be more productive. Students are more attentive and concentrated if they can stand while studying in a classroom. If done for an extended period, the improved blood flow from this activity can lead to clearer thinking and potentially even better cognitive skills.

This is why it’s important to include standing desks in the school – if they make corporate employees productive, they may also benefit kids.

3. Encourages Student Engagement

Not only is it important for students to be knowledgable, but also engaged in their learning. Standing desks help with this issue. Social skills and interactions with other kids, as well as instructors, may help students grow more confident and acquire important life skills. The ability to stand opens up new possibilities for students, allowing them to be more creative while also creating a more informal atmosphere.

Also, standing desks are easier to shift around, so they can be easily relocated for projects that require group effort.

4. More Efficient and Less Chaotic Class Management

Podiums and standing workstations are now available in many schools for instructors and professors to utilize during a lesson. Being able to stand in front of a classroom may not seem like much, but being able to do so can actually assist class facilitators in regulating their classes. Having the energy boost of standing may help teachers be more attentive and able to better address the demands of their class.

5. Collaboration is Made Easier

Children in the classroom interact and collaborate

A key element that teachers often encourage in the classroom is collaboration between students. With toddlers, it’s difficult to get them to work together since they are so distracted and energetic. Using a standing desk can help to expend energy and improve concentration.

The motivation of each member is improved by standing, since it allows them to focus on the job at hand as a team. Sitting and working may give us a sense of isolation, which is something we don’t wish to encourage. By having children stand, they have more opportunity to interact with one another and collaborate effectively under the guidance of a teacher. This skill is highly regarded by educators because it benefits a person throughout their entire life. This is why it should always be a priority to empower them to collaborate and work together.




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