We're thrilled to welcome Jeffrey Bryan, from Austin Independent School District to the blog. Jeffrey teaches technology classes for middle schoolers and thought that the UPLIFT Sit-Stand Desk might help his students and make for a more dynamic classroom. Here, he shares his experience.
Middle school is an important time. In many ways, you’re never freer to explore areas of potential interest than in middle school. I teach middle school technology classes; I provide my students with the opportunity to learn technical skills that may one day lead to amazing careers in technology and design. But the unfortunate side effect of that exploration is hours a week spent hunched over a computer, contributing to or even exacerbating back issues. In my hunt for a potential solution to this problem, I incorporated the UPLIFT Desk into my classroom. And my students loved it.
Aesthetically, its electronic lift contributed a distinct sense of technological cool to my room: a plus for any teacher. But, on the functional end, our UPLIFT Desk provided students the opportunity to work in a more natural posture, to work in a more active state, and to vary their classroom workflow. Most importantly, it opened a new level of accessibility in my classroom; the adjustability of the desk makes it accessible to any size student, a feature incredibly important in middle school, where students can range impossibly in height.
Advocates for standing desks cite pain relief and posture correction as a primary concerns, but in academic circles, providing students with an outlet for movement in normally sedentary conditions is a crucial consideration in favor of incorporating standing desks in the classroom. Not only do standing desks encourage more general physical activity, helping students to strengthen their core while improving their posture, but they also help restless students expend their extra energy. Standing instead of sitting may not seem like much of a difference, but the increase in the level of activity from that simple act is nothing to scoff at.
The UPLIFT Desk has proven to be an incredible resource for everything from basic classroom management to special needs accommodations. Through our single semester trial run, the desk helped a student who could not sit because of a knee injury, allowed a student with chronic back pain to finally work without stress, and gave several students with ADD a way to retain their focus. Its adjustability made the desk extremely flexible, and it is wide and sturdy enough to carry three large iMacs. My only real complaint, considering the middle school setting, is the need for a locking code for the controls to prevent students from playing with it. However, I was happy to discover that it has safety features that prevent the desk from crushing things that might get in the way of its path. A standing desk is a wonderful and appreciated addition to my classroom and a great solution for any teacher looking to improve his or her classroom environment.
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