Monthly Archives: October 2015

Schools are Now Implementing the Standing Desk

If you haven’t yet heard of the standing desk, it’s been an ongoing change to offices everywhere. And it’s sweeping the nation, among health gurus and long-term sitters alike. It works by creating a workspace that one can stand at and reach properly. The keyboard, mouse, etc. are all within easy reach. Must like any traditional desk, just this time around, you’re simply standing instead.

The perks, however, don’t come in height, but with one’s health. By standing, it’s been shown that muscles work harder, more calories are burned, and perhaps most importantly, you aren’t placing weight on the lower back for the majority of the day.

For years, it’s a setup that companies have been implementing. Oftentimes giving workers the choice between a standing or a sitting desk. With certain models even offering a transition between the two. Even the White House is looking to make the switch into standing models, releasing that their budget is $700,000 in order to upgrade for the entire presidential staff.

However, it’s now an idea that’s branching out into schools. This week the state of California announced that certain schools were implementing standing desks for their students. And doing away with chairs.

Elementary School Getting the Standing Treatment

Now incorporated into 19 of the school’s 22 classrooms, in just a few months Vallecito Elementary School will be a completely standing school. The remaining three rooms are on their way to being transitioned to new desks, according to administration members of the San Rafeal school.

And the kids are pretty excited about it. By staging new activities and making good use of their standing time, teachers say it’s a positive move. One that even gets the students more excited about learning. They play games at their standing desks, are able to move about more freely, and so on. Meanwhile teachers say it’s a nice change of pace to not have to worry about clanking chairs, or taking time so that students can align themselves just so.

Students are also more alert, as they’re not given the opportunity to let their leg stiffen. A fact that was a common teacher complaint before, causing them to create movement activities in order to get kids to perk back up.

In Practice

But exactly what is it about standing throughout the day that helps improve health so thoroughly?

Through ongoing tests and plenty of data to back it up, it’s been shown that standing desks hosts a wide range of benefits. Aside from those that keep kids alert, their newfound upright habits also:

  • Reduce the risk of obesity
  • Reduce the risk of cancer
  • Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as additional issues with the metabolism
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Increase life expectancy
  • Increase energy levels and movement throughout the day

Bringing Controversy

With every new practice, there are also claims that a product might not be as good as we think it is. And the standing desk is no different. There is also research supporting that the desks simply haven’t been around long enough to prove what it boasts. Or that standing isn’t quite as good as obtaining intermittent movement and exercise throughout the day.

Which studies prove to be true has yet to be seen. Either way, however, there’s certainly an argument that standing desks aren’t bad. And as teachers have pointed out, the ongoing energy boosts are real, allowing their students to get more done, and their teaching to be more efficient. In all likelihood, it’s a trend that will continue to expand across the U.S., especially throughout schools.

Look Out for These Halloween Health Risks

In just a few short weeks, the streets will be filled with candy-seeking kids. Adults will be in costumes, residents are there to hand out treats, and business owners will parade smiling groups of kids. These and plenty more orange, spice-scented fall traditions will be taking place. All of which is part of a time-honored tradition known as Halloween. Some of our seasonal favorites, however, leave us more apt to injury or poor health. From a number of different angles. What’s more dangerous, though, isn’t those facts themselves, but our failure to identify potential health risks.

In order to keep your best interests in tact throughout the entire Halloween season, remember to keep these potential risks in mind. As well as practices to keep their effects at bay. No matter how serious or insignificant they might become.

Halloween Health Risks

Costume-Related Injuries

Many of these instances have been the start of funny remember-when stories throughout the years. Face paints that caused zits. Heavy accessories that brought on an aching back. Or maybe cardboard shoes that didn’t support half as well as their description outlined. Whether minor or serious, however, steps can be taken to avoid costume-caused ill health.

When choosing a character to dress up as, consider your options, along with potential health risks. Then ensure you will be comfortable and protected for as long as you choose to be in costume.


Kids will pull pranks on Halloween. It’s inevitable. By expecting this fact, and then looking out for toilet paper in yards, water balloons splashed, or pumpkin guts spread across a road, you can avoid any potential side effects. Anywhere from a comical Scooby Doo-like fall, to something far more damaging.

Eating So Much Sugar

In short or long-term this can be dangerous. Candies are full of artificial flavors, chemicals, and of course, sugar. While consuming sparingly might do little to the body, while binges or frequent bouts can cause much deeper issues. Like slowing the digestive system, one’s metabolism, or throwing blood sugar out of whack.

A Serious Scare

When frightened, the body undergoes large amounts of stress. If taken too far, this can lead to something deeper, like high blood pressure or a weakened heart valve. Obviously these are extreme results, but ones that can build over time. Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about being scared into sickness.

Food Allergies

Parties are full of treats and fun dips, most of which are harm-free. However, one of the biggest trends with Halloween fare is to jazz up foods with dyes or other props. Making them look spookier than their original forms. With this transformation you should pay extra attention to ensure you’re not eating anything that might cause harm. Ask hosts for a quick ingredient rundown, or check labels thoroughly when purchasing from the store.


Along with types of foods, themed drinks are another holiday favorite. Both those that are made with booze and alcohol free. One thing they do have in common is that most are full of sugars. (Added with candy and you’re likely taking in more sweets than you even realize.) Remember to digest plenty of water the week of Halloween, or as any subsequent parties are taking place, to stay hydrated. And to help sugars flush through efficiently.

Personal Safety

There’s likely to be more going on than usual around Halloween, so stay on the lookout for your own health. Take precautionary measures into account, and avoid potentially dangerous situations. It’s a method that should be realized year round, and given additional attention during high-risk dates.