The classroom is the most important room

We’re convinced that standing up more to work leads to better health, increased learning ability and more peace and quiet in the classroom. A child’s working environment must be taken just as seriously as an adult’s. Nowadays height-adjustable desks are more or less standard in our workplaces because they lead to better health, creativity and peace in which to work.
Shouldn’t this also be the case for our children?

Research shows

We are facing a major problem in schools too.
Despite the fact that office workplaces have undergone massive development in recent decades, the situation in schools is frequently still as it was in the 1970s. Naturally, a beneficial working environment is as important for children as for adults. Technical aids, less PE lessons and less leisure-time activities have made children less active. However, using computers or tablets does not mean having to sit down.

Why is sitting down so bad?
There are many reasons why sitting down is bad. One reason is that LPL (Lipo Protein Lipase), an enzyme which plays an important role in metabolism, becomes inactive. LPL’s function is to facilitate the transport of fatty acids inside the cells throughout the body, in the muscles and the heart tissue to mention a few. When sitting down, LPL is inactive, which leads to fat being stored in fatty tissue instead of being burned up as energy in the muscles.

The WHO’s recommendations for physical activity for children aged 5 – 17:
Children and young people aged 5-17 should devote at least 60 minutes a day to physical activity of moderate to high intensity. Physical activity includes play, games, sport, transport, chores, recreation, athletics or other planned exercise, within the framework of the family, school and social activities. More than 60 minutes delivers additional health benefits. The bulk of the daily physical activity should be movement of moderate intensity. High intensity training should be incorporated (including that which strengthens muscles and bones), on at least 3 occasions per week.

How active are children and young people?
Here are some examples: Studies in Sweden show that only 30% of 4 year olds reach the recommended amount of physical activity on weekdays and only 20% of 4 year olds reach the recommended amount of physical activity at weekends (see table). Moreover, only one in eight 13 year olds move sufficiently every day. Surveys have also revealed that only 50% of school sports constitute ”active” time, the rest is sedentary reviews and theory.

But physical activity does not just need to be sport.
An active work environment produces more alert pupils who can concentrate more easily and have more desire to learn. By giving children the opportunity to stand up and work, we are creating a natural element of activity in the classroom. It has been demonstrated that just 10 minutes of activity per hour counteracts the negative effects of sitting down.


“We think the classroom is the most important room and we’re convinced that being able to stand and work boosts children’s and young people’s concentration, improves their health and creates a calmer, more creative working environment. Feeling well and being comfortable in your workplace should go without saying – for adults and children alike. This is why we’ve developed a special height-adjustable desk with a mat for the classroom,” says Business Area Manager Henrik Botha.

Daily physical activity improves concentration and, therefore, learning ability. School children aged 7-18 need to be active for at least two hours a day. *

A survey shows that children are not active enough at half of Sweden’s compulsory schools.*

– 47% of head teachers think that the children at their school are not active enough and 10% do not know

– 88% of head teachers think that increasing pupils’ activity is a priority at their school

– 47% of head teachers say that their school has no activity plan and 5% do not know if they have one

– 3 out of 10 do not use their activity plan

* www.folkhä Folkhälsan has been combining scientific research with practical health promotion ever since it was founded in 1921. The organisation’s research centre aims to ensure that Folkhälsan’s work to promote health has a scientific basis.

* The survey was carried out by Friskis&Svettis Riks between 26 February 2013 and 22 March 2013 using the EasyResearch survey tool. In total, 386 head teachers of compulsory schools across the whole of Sweden took part in the survey.

Time for sport in the classroom

Height-adjustable desks in schools too

Technical devices, fewer PE lessons and fewer leisure activities have meant that children are less active. But using computers and tablets does not necessarily have to mean sitting down. StandUp School comprises a manually height-adjustable school desk with a soft, comfortable mat to stand on. The pupil is given a flexible workplace.

ActiveS School

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