Students spend hours every day sitting at their desks – a lot of hours. Lithia Springs Elementary students have discovered that how their desks function can really impact their learning and their health.
The school received 30 new Ergotron sit-stand desks through a Fuel Up to Play 60 grant in partnership with the National/Florida Dairy Council and with support from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The majority of the desks are in the fifth-grade math classroom and are used by nearly 70 students per day.
The business partners, mascots and Bucs cheerleaders visited the class for a science fair-style presentation. Students showcased what they’ve found to be the benefits of the new classroom tool since receiving the desks in October.
“Here we have our Ergotron desks. They’re very flexible and efficient,” said fifth-grader, Marisa. “When you’re standing up at the Ergotron desk, since you can move it up and down, your back retains a straight spine. When you’re sitting down you still maintain a straight spine, because the stools don’t have a back,” Marisa explained.
Each desk cost around $350. Betsy Banker for Ergotron believes you can’t put a price on improving students’ physical and mental wellness in class.
“Our lives have become far too sedentary, especially our classrooms. These desks offer the opportunity to invite low-level physical activity into the classroom, into the learning environment, and give kids an option that didn’t exist before,” said Betsy Banker from Ergotron. “Movement is linked with learning. Getting kids more active during the school day can increase their metabolism, which can improve their classroom engagement and contribute to positive classroom performance.”
Fifth-grade math teacher Melissa Forsythe has seen a difference in students’ behavior with the new desks.
“I see a lot of times with the traditional desks, when students are sitting they tend to get very sleepy, they slouch over. So, I’ve seen a lot more active participation and engagement with these desks,” said Forsythe. “We just really appreciate having them, and it’s been great."
Students agreed and said the desks are both convenient and comfortable.
“It helps by getting into group projects with the wheels and moving, instead of just carrying everything. It’s more efficient,” said Dylan, a fifth grader.
“You can focus more because you’re not worried, oh my back hurts. You can stand up and move around more,” said Marisa. “Thank you for getting these amazing desks. They really help us with learning.”
Fuel Up to Play 60 offers grants, up to $4,000 per year, to qualified K-12 schools enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 to jumpstart healthy changes.