From better collaboration with coworkers to better focus during staff meetings it's no secret that the standing desk is an effective tool in helping you be more productive and successful at work. But did you know that the power of the height adjustable desk isn't bound by the four walls of your office? This handy ergonomic solution isn't just for adults - it can make a huge difference in the lives of students as well. And while schools all across the country are already starting to jump on the standing desk bandwagon new studies are coming out everyday to prove that the same benefits of a stand up desk that apply in the boardroom also apply in the classroom.
For most people "Sit down and pay attention" is the the common adage they learned at a young age in school. But professors and researchers are setting out to change that for the next generation. According to Mark Benden Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health too much sitting may very well be a major culprit in kids developing obesity and attention disorders. That's why he and his colleagues at the Texas A&M Health Science Center set out to study what happens when students got rid of their desk chair and took a stand at a height adjustable desk.
For the past five years Benden and his team have been studying 374 elementary school students in College Station Texas to find out what would happen if half of them kept a traditional sitting desk while the other half were given a stand up desk. The students at a standing desk were also equipped with monitors on their arms which tracked things like heart rate intensity of movement and even the number of calories burned. The results may surprise some...although not if you're already familiar with the benefits of a stand up desk.
"We quickly realized they are more active they are burning more calories at the standing desks" Benden says about the students who used a stand up desk specially designed for the study. "And they're not necessarily standing the whole time. There's a stool too but even sitting in a stool is different from sitting in a chair. It's really not sitting or standing - because it opens up your trunk-thigh angle you're able to breathe better and you're able to swing your legs."
And if the fact that using a height adjustable desk can help students score 20-percent higher on standardized tests isn't enough to convince educators consider this: the kids who benefitted the most from a standing desk in Benden's study were those who were obese or bordering on becoming so. Benden says that while students who were normal weight did not experience a huge bump in their health it was the students who were overweight who burned a significant amount of calories and experienced the most benefits of a standing desk.
According to the study students who spent even part of their day standing at their desk were more engaged more focused had longer attention spans and even had improved grades. And while the benefits of a standing desk were blatantly evident in the classroom Benden says the real power lies in their ability to keep kids moving.
"We used to be more active but over time we got conditioned to being inactive" Benden says adding that he is a huge advocate of spreading the "gospel of movement" for kids and adults alike. "It's not normal and it's not how we were intended to be. When schools tell children to sit still and be quiet you've almost wounded them. They want to be wiggling and fidgeting and moving."
We think Benden is right. Whether you're working in an office from 9-5 or sitting in a classroom from 8-3 active movement - and even fidgeting - is a major element of staying healthy physically mentally and emotionally. That's why at UpDesk our mission isn't just to make awesome height adjustable desks - it's to help you raise your standard when it comes to the balance of working hard and staying active.
Are you ready to start experiencing all the benefits of a standing desk? Do you want to start exploring what it would take to get height adjustable desks in your kids' school? Get in touch today! Talk with us about how stand up desks can change your life and help your little scholars learn and grow better.