Stand-up students

Feb. 1, 2010
Maybe the best seating choice for students is no seat at all.

Maybe the best seating choice for students is no seat at all.

Beginning two years ago in the Stillwater (Minn.) district, many of the students at Marine Elementary School in Marine on St. Croix use "standing desks." The school used grant funds to purchase the desks, which were designed by Abby Brown, a sixth-grade teacher at the school.

The students stand at the workstations, which can be adjusted to accommodate the height of each student. The stations also come with adjustable-height stools, so that the children can sit if they become fatigued.

The district reports that students have reported several benefits: increased awareness of their posture; a feeling of being more alert, awake and focused; improved handwriting; a less confined work space; increased physical activity and opportunities to burn off excess energy; and a flexible, more individualized approach to work habits.

Dr. James Levine, an obesity researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minn., has included standing desks as one of many elements in a project he calls the "Classroom of the Future." It seeks to create a more active environment in classrooms to combat childhood obesity.

Read the main story, "In Position to Learn," to learn more.

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