School Uses Standing Desk to Encourage Fidgeting

January 10, 2014

Standing desks are taking over classrooms across the country! The Wilson Elementary School in New Jersey is yet another elementary school that’s incorporated stand up desks in the classroom. What teachers didn’t realize was how great the result would be, and that the desks actually encouraged fidgeting – in a good way.

The adjustable desk project was funded by a non-profit organization in the community. Two teachers were awarded six stand up desks for their classrooms. The desks are specifically designed for students, and are equipped with a swinging footrest that encourages movement and a natural fidget. Now students can move freely without feeling restless and trapped in their seats.

“Just asking the kids about [the desks] brings a big smile to their faces,” the principal said. “The fidget bar is a great invention. Students who need to do something physical while at their desk finally have something that is not disruptive to those around them.”

The teachers reported that the students were much more engaged at the standup desk, and constantly moved their feet back and forth with the fidget bar. Students didn’t ask to use the bathroom or water fountain as much, and the height allowed them to see the board better.

The desks were designed by teachers and an ergonomic manufacturer to help students focus more in schools. Researched showed that basic fidgeting burned 100 to 800 calories a day, and children are less disruptive and more productive since they have an outlet for their energy.

According to the book, Fidget to Focus, the authors explained that fidgeting is a natural reaction and actually stimulates focus. Adults are able to take breaks and change tasks, while students are forced to remain in their seats in traditional classrooms.

Of course the desks included a stool, so the students could easily rest their legs once they needed to take a seat. But they weren’t used as often, since students were happy to use the swinging footrest and stand. The result was so positive that the teacher’s wanted a full classroom of standing desks.

But because there were only three in each room, students rotated between using the standing desk and the traditional desk. “Students who are not using the standup desk continue to sit on their knees, stand and fidget at their desks,” the teacher said. “I don’t see these distractions from the students who use the standup desks.”

Since this was an experiment to test standing desks in schools, the teachers assessed student’s behavior and compared actions like slouching, eye contact, and hand and seat fidgeting. If the results are substantial, the elementary school will most likely add more desks into the classrooms.

What do you think about adding standing desks to a classroom? Would you encourage your local schools to get behind the movement?

See the full article from The Progress, here:

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