Flexible seating promotes health and learning

Sit and stay still. Those words don’t apply in Wendy Spiers’ classroom.

Her students have access to eight standing desks, an effort to improve student health and redirect student focus. Spiers has noticed a change in her student’s behavior since placing them in the classroom at the start of the school year.

“I had no clue what to expect,” she said.

It’s called flexible seating, and Spiers is among several Idaho teachers who have converted their classrooms with hopes to improve students’ focus and allow them to choose how they learn best.

“Sitting at a desk is bad for your posture,” said the Eagle Middle School teacher. “I hate sitting at my desk, and kids have to sit all day.”

Speirs was able to bring these desks into the classroom through a grant. The cost of one desk is $450.

“My students get excited about coming to class,” Speirs said. “That is a big deal.”

Eighth-grader Cole Peterson can get antsy in class and standing keeps him from slumping into a chair and zoning out during a lesson.

“I think it’s all-around a win-win,” Cole said. “I think all my classes should have these desks.”

The desks are equipped with pencil and water bottle holders and bins to store supplies. They can also be rolled around the classroom and adjust up and down. Students have the option to stand or sit on a stool.

“I have noticed that students seem to have more energy when they can stand,” Spiers said.

Ergotron, the manufacturer of the desks, donated the equipment to Eagle Middle School in partnership with Dairy West and Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school nutrition activity program launched in conjunction with the NFL to encourage children to lead healthier lives. The partnership donated 15 desks to the school.

The grant total was $6,750. Spiers also received another Fuel Up to Play 60 this month that will supply her with four more standing desks.

“This is what students need,” Spiers said.


Andrew Reed

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