Increased Focus and Fewer Bathroom Breaks? The Advantages of Standing Desks in the Classroom

Increased Focus and Fewer Bathroom Breaks? The Advantages of Standing Desks in the Classroom

Posted by Human Solution on May 15th 2013

I talk to a lot of people who are upgrading to an adjustable height desk in their workplace or home office, and they are usually pretty excited about the prospects of burning more calories and improving their focus and productivity. They have usually arrived at this point because they are already experiencing issues related to sitting all day – weight gain, low energy, lack of focus, back problems and poor circulation. But why not start earlier, and use sit-to-stand workstations in a preventative manner?

The McAllen Independent School District in south Texas has decided to do just that by recently introducing “stand-biased” desks into one of their fourth-grade classrooms, made possible through a partnership with the Health Science Center at Texas A&M University. In part, the move is intended to combat childhood obesity. The desks are adjustable from 26 to 34 inches high, so they can be used for kindergarteners all the way up to fourth-graders. The school children are also provided a tall stool so they can sit down if they tire of standing, as well as a standing desk footrest.

Not surprisingly, according to the article in the local newspaper, The Monitor, teachers reported an increase in focus and a more collaborative environment. One result that surprised me a bit was when the teacher said there were fewer breaks for the restroom. When she questioned the students, they explained that the frequent breaks were “because we really just want to stretch our legs.”

Maybe you didn’t have a stand-biased desk in school, but it’s never too late to start! Just standing for 15 minutes on the hour can make a huge difference.

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