Australian school introduces world’s first standing classroom to combat childhood obesity
As part of a novel experiment, Mont Albert Primary School in Australia has launched the world’s first standing classroom which aims to combat the menace of childhood obesity. In this experiment being conducted by the researchers of Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, a grade six class at this school has been fitted with height-adjustable desks to allow the student to sit or stand.
The researchers will monitor the standing students with an objective to know if being upright can improve their health, fitness, learning and memory. Pupils will also be fitted with devices to measure how long they spend sitting, with lesson plans revised to reduce the time students are idle.
Why this experiment?
As per scientists, prolonged sitting during the school hours poses health risk by contributing to obesity in students as during these hours children perform less physical activity. Earlier studies have shown students spent two-thirds of a school day sitting, and long hours of childhood sitting can contribute to the onset of such diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
In this experiment in which students are required to attend school hours standing they will engage more muscles that are likely to be of great benefit for keeping the blood flowing throughout their body and reducing the level of fatigue. If researchers find this exercise beneficial for the cardiovascular health, learning and memory of the standing students compared to a traditional class, this pilot study would be expanded to a much larger trial to find if it can make an impact on lessons across Australia.