As standing desks have become a wellness staple in a lot of offices, some are asking the question – are standing desks good for kids too?
Most experts agree that kids need at least 60 minutes of activity a day, although the reality is that they’re spending more and more time sitting. As schools adapt rapidly to new pressures – more testing, more “virtual” learning, reduced budgets – students have seen increases in chair time. Record rates of obesity are reported at the same time that gym and recess time has been decreasing nationwide.
How standing desks can help kids
Standing desks can be a great alternative to sitting, both at home and in the classroom. According to a recent study published in American Journal of Public Health, active standing can even help promote student health. The research showed that the BMI percentile of kids who used standing desks decreased 5.24.
While most of us can agree that more movement is necessary for kids, it’s fair to say that a standing desk is no substitute for gym class. What a standing desk can do is to help promote an active lifestyle that involves movement.
It’s also been shown that even something as simple as a standing desk can help kids gain independence and self regulation skills. Adjustable desks – not just fixed height desks – allow students to alternate from sitting to standing when they need to. That important choice can help kids gain independence and self regulation skills.
Educators also link movement with learning. A movement – even a small one like adjusting from sitting to standing – can help reinforce learning in a variety of ways. These include:
- serving as a transition from one academic activity to another
- relieving classroom tension
- helping kids refocus
What about increased injuries and health problems?
There is no evidence that kids are prone to additional stresses and injuries when using a standing desk. Kids adapt quickly to using a standing desk. As with any technology, careful selection and a little training up front to ensure proper posture can help mitigate any issues with slouching or misalignment.
What are the most important features in a standing desk for kids?
Choosing a kids’ standing desk is similar to choosing a standing desk for anyone, with a few caveats.
- Size. Fit is one of the main concerns, and there are specifically child-sized standing desk models. As a rule of thumb, though, any small standing desk has the potential to be a good option. Consider the adjustment range, and how long it may fit the child.
- Height adjustable. Although fixed height standing desks are available, the best standing desk for kids is a sit stand desk that allows movement. For some activities, like test taking and writing, they will often need to sit. Adjustability is important because in classroom, even kids at the same grade level range widely in size. And kids grow. Whether in a classroom or at home, a height adjustable model helps ensure that kids don’t have to hunch or strain, whether sitting or standing.
- Mobility. For classroom settings, group work is common, and classroom arrangement varies by activity. Mobile standing desks can be ideal. Features like lockable casters allow teachers to rearrange seating for presentations, activities, and group projects.
- Durability. Kids can be harder on furniture than adults, and desks see hours of use on any given day. The most durable models are tested to ANSI/BIFMA X5.5 standards.
- Safety features. Any motorized standing desk for children should have anti-collision protection to prevent pinches. Look for features that ensure the desk can automatically detect a collision and stop the desk movement.
- Noise. Knuckle popping and pencil tapping are enough distraction in a classroom, so make sure the noise level of the motor won’t cause disruptions. Models that kids can operate silently, like pneumatic desks, can help minimize distractions.
Kids need movement. They focus longer, learn better, and process faster when they can move. A well designed standing desk can be one of the best ways to create a healthy learning space for kids. When you choose the right standing desk for a child, you choose to promote healthy habits and teach best practices for a healthy lifestyle.
The Kloud pneumatic standing desk is well suited for most 5 year olds and up, adjusting from a low of 28.25″ (1.5” taller with casters). The Oben electric standing desk is even lower, 23.57″ with glides.