Active seating and why its important
The natural order of the classroom has always been for pupils to sit, whether this involves reading, writing, working in groups, or listening to the teacher. Therefore it is not surprising that primary school children spend on average, 70% of their classroom time sitting down, which is a lot to ask of someone so young. Many children struggle to sit still for long periods without getting fidgety and restless. Concentration is lost and this often causes frustration for teachers, whilst also distracting other students.
In recent years a new form of seating has been developed that allows children to rock and swivel during seated periods. Studies have shown that this rhythmic action actually improves concentration among children, as it allows them to burn excess energy and helps the child to relax. In fact, it has been proven that young bodies and brains need various types of motion to develop important foundational skills for learning.
When looking at active seating, we must also look at the effect sitting down has on health. It is becoming increasingly clear that a lifetime of sitting can lead to a higher risk of early death, type two diabetes, and heart disease. And while the evidence is still limited when it comes to children’s health, there is certainly an argument that, as sedentary behaviour habits are formed early in life, targeting children is a logical step. Providing students with a type of seat that can move, reduces these risks much like a sit-to-stand desk or swiss ball which have been adopted in many offices.
As teaching styles have also begun to change, so does the classroom and we are seeing more and more rocking or ‘active’ seating appearing in classrooms. This new knowledge and shift in learning has opened up doors to a world of creativity for furniture designers across the world.
Here are some of our favourite active products which would be a great addition to any classroom:
Lips: They are named after their stand out shape! This rocking pouf assures a gentle motion that is perfect for little ones to sit on and rock slowly. Flexible seating helps children not only feel physically, but also emotionally comfortable, and engages them to learn in a way that actually works for them!
Mogoo: The Mogoo octagonal stool is a semi-sitting stool designed to promote dynamic and active seating. Designed to fit fun and interactive spaces such as classrooms, labs, studios and creative areas, Mogoo allows users to tilt and swivel in all directions with its rounded base and an optimal support surface. It is very easy to move around due to its light weight and handling groove under the seat and can be hung from a desktop to keep off the ground when not in use. Great for tidying the classroom at the end of the day!
YoYo: Yoyo brings movement and life to spaces and is a perfect addition for learning centres, classrooms, study areas and social spaces. Lively, versatile and contemporary, YoYo is great for encouraging free thinking in brainstorming sessions and creative sessions. The tumbler base creates gentle movement, activating muscles to support active sitting. This would be a perfect addition to any classroom!