In the 20th century, American philosopher, psychologist and education reformist, John Dewey, famously unbolted teachers’ and students’ desks from the floor. He said he did this to create more democratic and social interactions in the classroom, and, in turn, to boost learning and engagement.
Only in recent years, though, have researchers and educators started to catch on. Experts now acknowledge that incorporating movement into an educational environment can enhance students’ ability to engage in learning, whilst improving their attention span.
Introducing *drum roll* … active seating!
Traditionally, students spend their time at static desks that limit movement and interactions, leading to a more sedentary lifestyle. But younger people generally crave movement – that’s why you’ll find them shifting, leaning in their chair and moving around during class.
Active sitting, or dynamic sitting, is the idea that flexibility and movement whilst seated can be beneficial to the human body, and makes some seated tasks much easier to perform. Active sitting encourages us to stay in motion, rather than passively relax into a slouch or rigidly hold a particular pose, keeping our bodies and minds engaged.
Here’s why you should consider active seating for your classroom:
1. Helps Students to Focus
Students tend to shift or fiddle about when faced with a mental task that they perceive to be complicated, and will find a way to move about regardless of the type of chair they’re sitting in. Active sitting promotes rather than restricts these movements, to help channel students’ attention and energy into their studies, improving mental alertness, concentration and overall efficiency.
2. Improves Posture
Active seating allows the hips to slant forward slightly and moves the back into more positive alignment. This reduces slouching and increases core strength, lessening the risk of back or neck pain, and hopefully meaning fewer days off from school!
3. Burns Calories
As someone moves about in an active seating position, the heart pumps a little faster, and blood vessels in the legs and hips widen, improving circulation. This movement pumps more oxygen to the brain, promoting knowledge retention, improving sensory inputs and burning energy!
Because active sitting encourages students to move around and adjust themselves in a non-disruptive way, their muscles receive the stimulus they need, in turn, helping reduce irritation and discomfort, and allowing students to be more attentive.
The Acti range brings movement into the classroom by focusing on it as a crucial element of seating. The Acti chairs have a flexible back, allowing students to change their seating position whilst keeping the chair stable.
4. Improves Health
Sitting for long periods of time can lead to increased risk of joint problems, metabolic deficiencies and heart disease. With active sitting, regular movements can help to improve health and combat these serious health issues.
In contrast, traditional forward-facing and rigid seating can result in decreased attention span and potentially poorer knowledge retention. This can impact on teachers, principals and other administrators, who are required to spend extra time and resources on keeping students engaged.
Splice is a funky new ottoman that comes with a rubberised grip tumbler base. It encourages movement whilst seated and is ideal for fun breakout areas and schools. The lower PU covering protects from shoe scuffing and adds to Splice’s aesthetic appeal.
Are you looking for a way to make your classroom, university or training facility a better place to learn for your students? Talk to our team about our active seating options and how we can advise and assist with your classroom interior or furniture fitout at your location. Call us on 1800 772 726 to discover how we can help you design an on-trend, engaging educational space that encourages productivity.