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3 Unnoticed Benefits of 21st Century Desks in the Classroom Environment

Dec 12, 2016   //   by Elizabeth Mack   //   blog  //  No Comments

21st century desks

Desks provide a steady surface for students to place, hold, and support students’ school supplies.

This is obvious.

But what many don’t know is how much classroom desks have changed, and that the 21st century desk has become versatile and multipurpose.

Check out these 3 unnoticed benefits of 21st century desks in the 21st century classroom environment and how they enhance learning.

1. They have physical health benefits

Yep, this is definitely the case with standing desk—which are height adjustable and are meant to be used standing up, hence their name.

Of course, teachers and professors use them for lecture, but students can gain as much benefit as well, as standing has been shown to improve test scores and stimulate engagement.[1]

There’s also a slew of physical health benefits.

Standing desks make a dent in the childhood (and the adult) obesity epidemic, as a study shows that those who stand for an afternoon burn 170 more calories per day compared to sitting.[2]

While this may not make an initial difference, continual and consistent use could greatly impact weight.

Standing has also been linked with lowering your risk of heart disease and blood sugar levels.

A study monitoring standing and sitting every 30 minutes in a workday illustrated a reduction in blood sugar spiking by 11.1% on average.[3]

This is especially important to those who have diabetes.

While these conditions (especially heart disease) may not afflict children at the moment, instilling non-sitting movement in the classroom via a standing desk can serve as a preventative measure.

2. They also improve mental health as well

Especially when it comes to standing desks, children can also gain improved mental health benefits.

During a 7-week study, participants who used a standing desk versus sitting at a traditional desk reported being less stressed and less fatigued.[4]

People also reported having more energy throughout the day and feeling more vigorous.

And standing desks may also improve productivity levels too.

This seems to line up with the 2-month study mentioned in our previous blog post about 21st century classroom chairs, where parents noticed that their children (who used a standing desk in class) felt less stressed and were eager in doing and completing their homework.[5]

3. They enhance social health and facilitate collaborative learning

Collaborative desks make group discussions and activities an easier possibility.

Not only can students move the desks (because of the caster wheels located on the bottom) from one side of the room to another, but the shape of collaborative desks enables students to fit their desks next to one another to form a discussion circle.

This helps all students take part in the discussion and/or activity, as all students are spatially included.

Through the use of discussion groups, facilitated by collaborative desks, students’ social and emotional health can benefit.

In fact, science shows a positive correlation between discussion groups and social and emotional health.[6]

These types of desks and their benefits cannot just benefit children in a classroom environment, but can also be applied in a workplace environment as well.

Overall, what we’re trying to show you is that 21st century desks have markedly transformed from your typical, simple, wooden slab; they’ve made functional and versatile strides.

What’s your experience with classroom desks? How have they benefitted you and/or your students?


[6] NCBI: Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy

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