California Educator

May 2015

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Page 47 of 61

I N C E T H E B E G I N N I N G O F T I M E — or at least school — kids were told to stay in their seat and not fidget. It's presumed those who can't sit still are not paying atten- tion. Or as they used to say, they have ants in their pants. Some schools are questioning that phi- losophy, because studies show that too much sitting isn't good for you. Being sed- entary can cause health problems including heart disease — or even a shorter lifespan. I n s o m e s c h o o l s s t u d e n t s a re u s i n g "standing desks," rather than traditional workstations. In others, students may sit on a yoga ball, which stabilizes the core and promotes better posture. Both of these t r e n d s a r e g r o w - ing in popularity at the workplace with adults, especially in the tech industry. Advocates say standing desks help stu- dents burn more calories and stay focused. And sitting on a yoga ball forces spine alignment, decreases back pain, improves balance, and allows "mini-workouts" with- out getting up. While most students sit at traditional desks, standing desks are being used in hun- dreds of schools nationwide, according to One of them is Montera Middle School in Oakland, where Krishna Feeney teaches eighth-grade math. Sarina Zomorrodian is on the ball in Julie Shattles' classroom in Tustin. Krishna Feeney shows a standing desk in her classroom in Oakland. P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y S C O T T B U S C H M A N Education trends Learning 46 TO SIT OR TO STAND by Sherry Posnick-Goodwin That is the question!

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