With schools ditching recess and gym class, the amount of physical activity kids get during the school day has dropped dramatically. Now one school has implemented a clever solution that has helped ease not one, but two problems kids are facing.
Vallecito Elementary School in San Rafael, California has already switched 19 out of 22 classrooms from traditional desks with chairs to standing desks (the last three will be converted by the end of the year). And while it took some getting used to, for both teachers and students, the benefits are already clear.
One student said it best: “It burns off a lot of my energy so I can concentrate without wiggling in the chairs,” Meadow McPherson told CBS News.
The principal of the school, Tracy Smith, said that shortly after kids started using the standing desks they became more productive and more focused, and studies do show that allowing kids movement throughout the day can improve grades by a solid 15 percent. Added bonus: It can also help kids burn up to 25 percent more calories than sitting all day.
In fact, a study released last January shows that sitting for prolonged periods of time, like most school-aged children do, can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer even if those people also get regular exercise.
So standing desks could be a huge boom for kids, many of whom are estimated to spend a shocking 65-70 percent of their days sitting. And according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, kids assigned to standing desks also increased their step counts.
It works for adults, too. Maybe the whole family can get started doing their homework together standing at the kitchen counter!
What do you think? Do you think your kids are fine using traditional desks, or could benefit from using a standing desk?