Promoting Movement Through Classroom Furniture

 The topic of standing desks have gained popularity within the recent years. For too long, we have become accustomed to sitting in our desks every day at school. Our teachers sit in desks as well as our students sit in theirs. However, have you ever thought about how many minutes your students are sitting throughout the school day? What if I told you that your students are sitting more than they should? Yes, we as teachers like to believe that we can make every activity allow our students to get up and move around. However, there is a solution to getting our students up and moving out of their seats that will be engaging and allow students refocus in the classroom every day--a standing desk.


What do our students think? We conducted research at a local middle school to find just how much our students were sitting throughout the day at school and at home.
What about our students after school?
What about specifically during your morning classes?
So what does this tell us now?


Why Stand?


Three Simple Reasons
  1. Standing prevents slow deterioration of the body.
  2. Kids burn more calories standing versus sitting.
  3. Kids are more engaged in a standing classroom.


The Obesity Battle

  • Normal weight kids burn between 15-25% more calories at standing desks.
  • Obese kids burn between 25-35% more calories.
Source:  The Impact of Stand-Biased Desks in Classrooms on Calorie Expenditure in Children, American Journal of Public Health
Keeping Your Body Working As It Should
AKA - Stopping the body breakdown

  • Standing prevents your body from breaking down.  
  • This includes back and neck pain, repetitive stress injuries, pelvic floor dysfunction, and knee & hip disorders.
  • Having a healthy range of motion in your hips can help prevent injury when you pursue more recreational physical activities and do household chores.
Sources:,, The Art of Manliness, National Center for Biotechnology Information

Better Learning Engagement
  • According to Dr. Mark Benden, Texas A&M “students were more engaged in activity permissive learning environments than in traditional seated environments.”  
  • Standing desks create the foundation for a movement-rich environment, and as one researcher put it, physical activity is cognitive candy.
  • Children feel happier when they can move more and aren’t restricted to a chair.
  • Classroom behavior improves with active learning.
Sources:, National Center for Biotechnology Information,

“I have found the standing desks to be a fabulous tool for students that tend to be more active, fidgety or even more tired,” Caritey said. “Movement breaks are an essential part of learning in my classroom, and I have found that the best learning takes place when students are able to move their bodies throughout the day, consistently and frequently.” ~Katie Caritey, Teacher, Belmont, MA

Cost Estimates: Yikes
Full Classroom
  • 30 individual standing desks - $6,750
  • 16 Dual Stations - $4,464
  • 9 Group Stations - $4, 160
Partial Classroom
  • 8 Dual Stations - $2,232
  • 4 Group Stations - $1,840

Funding Avenues:
District Support
Local Non-Profit Organizations
Crowdfunding via
Other Resources about Standing Desks:

So, let’s say you can’t afford standing desks...what now? There are a lot of different other innovative furniture options that can provide the same kinesthetic movement in your classroom to get your students moving. However, many of you may recognize that a lot of these options are only in MD rooms, but they can be valuable if they are incorporated into every classroom!

  • Interview with Kari King at Bogan Elementary, Intervention Specialist/Severe Intense Needs

Wedge bubble seat: For students with bad posture and it helps strengthen the core.
Circle Bubble Seat: Relieves pressure off the hips for students and provides movement.
Stability Ball Seats: Used most commonly with students who have cerebral palsy. Provides movement and helps with posture. Students are able to sit for a longer amount of time.
Wooden Chair: Keeps students in chairs, rest their arms, and for students with extreme focusing or fidgeting problems
Green gel seat: Students can sit on it for movement or place in their lap for stimulation.

Swing: Relaxes students if they are over stimulated. Most commonly used in MD rooms and with students who are on the autism spectrum.




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