Occupational Health

Kid size Standup desks!

The adult working world is not the only one to benefit from the current trend toward stand up desks. All across the country, schools are being outfitted with the help of local PTAs and community support. No longer are the children confined to sitting for eight hours every day, now encouraged to stand and fidget by teachers. While it does seem to improve test scores and concentration, there are still a few other questions these desks are raising.

Are they like the adult desks?

In other words, are these desks the same design but smaller? The answer is a clear no. In no way do the student standup desks resemble the adult counterparts. For one, the height differences are pretty dramatic. Where adult standing desks typically range from 27” to 47”, student desks only run from 26” to 34” for grades Kindergarten to 4th and 31” to 51” for grades 3 through 12. The higher reach can be attributed to the desk face’s size being safer to raise higher.

The other most noted difference is the design. Where office standing desks still retain the width of a sitting desk, student desks remain much smaller. There are grooves indented along either the tops or sides for pens and pencils. Most also come with the stereotypical open cubby for books and other materials. The only addition to a student desk is the footrest, designed to allow students a way to fidget without interrupting the classroom.

Do they offer the same benefits?

Current research is showing that student standup desks are giving children a better advantage in the classroom, in a similar fashion to how it is positively affecting adults. However, instead of measuring concentration and alertness, students’ test scores are speaking for themselves. Beyond this, though, teachers that have been lucky enough to get standing desks in their classrooms are noting marked differences. Where once talking, wasted bathroom trips and disturbing neighbors were a daily occurrence, standing desks have eliminated such behavior. Most believe it’s because these desks provide students with an outlet for their excess energy – energy that we lose as we hit the age where we work in office buildings.

The most notable change has been with the principals. Students they once saw on a daily basis now never show up. Some even admit to having to check the roster and make sure those students were still even enrolled. Beyond this, these desks are also proving to be a way to battle obesity early on, helping students burn up to 25% more calories each and every day they use a standing desk.

In the end, it seems standing desks are for the children. Providing them better benefits both physically and mentally during the formative years and during a time when being able to pass tests is crucial to moving up in life makes these desks a clear classroom evolution that all schools will be moving toward in time.