The 1st standing classroom now in Australia

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In order to fight obesity in children, a primary school in Melbourne has launched a standing classroom, which is the first of it's kind in the world.

As a part of an experiment by researchers of Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Mont Albert Primary School's grade six class has been fitted with desks that are height-adjustable, for students to stand or sit accordingly.

The desks were fitted two months ago, and most pupils have considered the opportunity to stand.

A team of scientists will be monitoring the students who stand to find out if there is an improvement in the students' health, learning, fitness and memory caused as a result of being upright.

Devices to measure the amount of time the students spend sitting will also be fitted, with revamped lesson plans to reduce the time students are inert.

Professor David Dunstan, institute's head of physical activity research, said that the long hours of sitting at school was hazardous to children which he hoped to beat.

The 1st standing classroom now in Australia

Dunstan said, "It is a twofold process: changing the environment and also training the teacher in how to administer this in a new and innovative way."

"When they stand up they are engaging 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 we can ingrain good health behaviours in early age we know they track into adulthood," Dunstan said.

Two-thirds of a school day is spent sitting as found in previous studies, this continuous childhood sitting can lead to diseases like Type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Students, parents and teachers had accepted the project said, Sharon Saitlik, principal of Mont Albert Primary School.
Saitlik said, "Those boys that can tend to fidget and get distracted easily have been more engaged."

"Even though they are only standing in preference to sitting it gives them the space they sometimes require," Saitlik said.

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