Susan Saulny, Students Stand When Called Upon, And When Not, New York Times, Feb. 25, 2009, A1.
A Minnesota school, Marine Elementary School, is experimenting with stand up desks for their students. The desks have swinging footrests and adjustable stools allowing children to switch between sitting and standing. The teacher, Abby Brown, got the idea for the desks after 20 years of watching students squirm at their desks. The idea is to give students the flexibility to expend energy and focus better on their work rather than focus on how to keep still. The University of Minnesota is conducting two studies and are using data from Ms. Brown’s classroom and others in Minnesota and Wisconsin to compare differences in physical activity and academic achievement. Orders for the desks are being filled for school districts from North Carolina to California. Cuts in recess time and childhood obesity rates are further reasons teachers and doctors endorse the new desks.