Is Making Children Sit Still a Form of Child Abuse?

It’s not a secret that our sedentary lifestyle is destroying our health.   Motion and flow are a huge part of the human experience.  We have become accustomed to sitting, and from modern toilets to the La-Z-Boy it’s become a part of our culture.  But with research like this suggesting that sitting for more than 3 hours a day can reduce our life expectancy by two years, it doesn’t seem fair to force our children to follow in our footsteps if we’ve been wrong all along.

Kids are naturally active.  They love to dance, move, and fidget.  They need it.  But we force them to sit still confined to a desk for hours while attempting to excite them about information.

The latest research suggests that students that are provided with adjustable height standing desks burn more calories and focus better, and demonstrate more engagement with less distraction.  This study showed us that ADHD kids allowed to expend their energy were able to better remember information and work out complex cognitive tasks!

school kids at standing desks

Image from Stand2Learn.com

Thankfully there’s a fantastic organization raising money with the goal to educate and update every public school with standing desks by 2025.  It’s called StandUp Kids, and they strongly believe children’s sedentary behavior is a public health crisis.  Stand2learn makes standing desks for children that feature a generous activity surface with built in pencil groove, height adjustable legs to accommodate all ages and heights, and a dual height steel footrest to provide the appropriate ergonomic positioning while seated or standing.

Stand2Learn™ Desk

Stand2Learn™ Desk

Two schools in Montreal have already modernized their classes with standing desks and even stationary bikes.  Many students who have been using the standing desks say they prefer standing.  The class teacher said it’s improved their literacy levels and ability to memorize flash cards.

Even though we are accustomed to sitting, the research has made it crystal clear that humans were not meant to sit on chairs for extended periods.  An overweight, unhealthy and unhappy generation taking over for us is not in the best interest of humanity.  As a standing desk advocate, I cannot think of a better way to better future proof ourselves against this issue than by making standing desks available to children in schools.  I believe it’s recent efforts like these that have finally caused a downturn on childhood obesity.

There are plenty of interesting and innovative standing desk options and conversion kits available for adults, but now i’m also excited to check out the future of school desks.