STANDING DESK FAQ’s
- Sitting too much causes disease and orthopedic dysfunction, and impedes children’s ability to learn.
- Kids at standing desks burn between 15% to 25% more calories during the school day than the ones who remained sitting.
- Obese students the desks had an even bigger impact, increasing calorie use by up to the 25% to 35%.
- Small movements at standing desks, such as fidgeting, has a large impact on calorie expenditure.
- Kids in standing classrooms are more engaged.
- Classroom management is easier.
- If kids are given the opportunity to move throughout the day, they will do so.
- When students move more, their education improves.
- Children feel happier when they can move more and aren’t restricted to a chair.
- Classroom behavior improves with active learning.
- Children who move more have greater creativity.
- Educational test scores improve
- Students can shift their bodies and change position when they need to stay focused.
- Standing prevents the body’s tissue adaptation to static positions (i.e. short hip flexors & hamstrings, rounded upper back, poor shoulder position) AND it does not erode the child’s physiology like sitting does.
- Standing maintains the integrity of all the complex motor skills required for optimal physical function.
- Reducing daily sedentary time literally reduces cell aging, which means kids will live longer and be more healthy.
CHILDREN CANNOT MOVE ENOUGH AT A SITTING DESK, PERIOD
No! There is no link between standing at work or school and any negative health problems. Peter Katzmarzyk, a profession of public health at Pennington Biomedical Research Center studied this question and his results showed NO link between standing and health problems. In fact, “mortality rates declined at higher levels of standing,” which means that standing is not sedentary or hazardous.
The height of a child’s standing desk is not rocket science and does not need to be determined by an ergonomics expert. Or, another option is to go with an adjustable standing desk that the students can raise and lower themselves. Watch THIS VIDEO on sizing standing desks.
We only recommend standing desks that have a foot bar/foot rest – we don’t consider a desk a standing desk without a foot bar. The foot bar allows children to get their low backs out of extension and manage standing better. While we have no formal relationship with any desk manufacturer, one of our current favorite desks – the AlphaBetter Desk – also has a moving foot rest (that we call the fidget bar) that allows children to naturally fidget without disruption. Here are some other elementary school standing desks we recommend:
We are not fans of treadmill or biking desks for children. They are prohibitively expensive, require power, and just plain are not scalable to the school environment. Plus, with a biking desk, the kids are still sitting…
We don’t like the idea of sit stand desks because the research shows that if people (children included) are given the opportunity to sit or stand, they will always choose sitting.
No! The typical school day is 6 hours long and between recess, lunch, and other activities, children are typically only standing for 3-4 hours/day, and that is never continuous. In fact, in most elementary school classrooms, the instructional period is rarely more than 15 minutes long and children always have the opportunity to sit on the floor and take a break if they feel tired. Our experience with our own children’s standing classroom is that kids are a bit more tired at the end of the day for the first few weeks of transitioning to a standing desk. But, after the kids become more fit, they are able to stand for longer without fatigue.
We think standing desks in schools are a simple and elegant solution to the problem of physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles but we recognize that standing desks are only part of the solution. We believe that that kids need to sit way less, move way more, eat less sugar and more whole foods, get some sunlight, and sleep more.
According to Dr. Lynn Staheli of the department of orthopedics at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle:(1) Optimum foot development occurs in the barefoot environment and (2) the primary role of shoes is to protect the foot from injury and infection. What does this mean? It means your kids should be barefoot at home as much as possible and should be wearing a completely flat shoe at school. Check out this video we did on kids shoes:
Our mission is to create a healthy environment for kids and part of that is healthy footwear.
K-12 public schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including public charter schools. Our program is not yet available outside the United States.
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