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.
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
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.