World’s First Standing Classroom Launches in a Primary School in Melbourne

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In an effort to help quell childhood obesity, and eliminate the restlessness and general apathy that occur when one is in a seated position all day long, a primary school in Melbourne is taking a stand, or rather, quite literally having their students take a stand, with the introduction of the world’s first standing school environment. Mont Albert Primary School has switched out all the sitting-style desks in one sixth grade classroom for height-adjustable desks that allow students to sit or stand as they wish. The experiment, dreamed up by Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute researchers is meant to improve fitness, overall health, learning skills and memory capabilities. Not surprisingly, since the standing desks were introduced, most students have chosen to stand, not sit while class is in session. Research shows that prolonged sitting, even in childhood, may exacerbate or cause problems like muscle fatigue, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. In order to see how this benefits students, researchers on the project are fitting kids with devices that measure how long they spend sitting, but school heads and parents at Mont Albert have already embraced the project as a success. School principal Sharon Saitlik says, “Those boys that can tend to fidget and get distracted easily have been more engaged. Even though they are only standing in preference to sitting, it gives them the space they sometimes require.” Researchers are hoping that results are successful on a small-scale, so that a larger trial may be implemented throughout Australia — and we’re hoping this trend takes hold throughout the rest of the world as well.

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“World’s First Standing Classroom Launches in a Primary School in Melbourne”