Alternative Seating Options for Students

Are we all Plagued by Sitting Disease?


Katie Everton, Contributor

Students at Nashoba Regional high school are falling asleep in class left and right, but how can that be fixed? Some believe that these fluctuating sleep patterns are normal for a teenager, but they could easily be fixed with alternative seating in the classroom. There are many scientific studies that prove sitting down for a seven-hour school day negatively affects cognitive function and leads to a higher risk of heart failure, back pain, muscle degeneration and obesity. To avoid this issue, Nashoba should invest in alternative seating methods like adjustable height desks.

An adjustable height desk can be used as a regular desk that you sit at, or as a standing desk. One of the benefits of a standing desk is a lowered risk of obesity. The reason for this is that the fat burning enzyme in the human body shuts down when a person is at rest or sitting, but that could be easily fixed by standing. Dr. Mehta of  the Texas A&M University studied the benefits of standing desks on cognitive function and found a “7 to 14 percent improvement in the executive function and working memory capabilities” of regular high school freshman using standing desks compared to those who sat through their school day.

It is clear that there are large benefits found from these desks, but what do students think? When asked her thoughts on adjustable height desks, Emma Picaro said that she does not “think the only option should be to stand.” Due to this opinion, adjustable height desks make more sense than standing-only desks.

Parents would surely appreciate their children making the most of their education, but how can they do that when they are forced into an unnatural and uncomfortable position for the majority of their day?

Cam Walbridge, a senior at Nashoba, thinks that these desks would be “too expensive” for the school to afford. To propose a solution to the cost, these desks could be tested in a single classroom to start. Eventually, the ancient desks owned by NRSD will break, and instead of buying more uncomfortable seats, the school could replace them with adjustable height desks. This would be an efficient use of funds, and students could decide if they would prefer this standing option before replacing desks in the whole school. The benefits of standing desks heavily outweigh the cons.