British Columbia

Standing desks improve learning outcomes at New Westminster school

Standing desks are becoming more common in office environments, but a B.C. high school has discovered that they can improve learning outcomes as well.

New Westminster Secondary School teachers say standing desks are making a difference for students

Shamus Kain and Rilesh Sharma take advantage of standing desks at New Westminster Secondary School. (CBC)

Standing desks are becoming more common in office environments for health and productivity reasons, but a B.C. high school has discovered that they can improve learning outcomes as well.

New Westminster Secondary School recently brought in 10 standing desks for 10 classrooms. The stationary tables can fit four to five students, and students can use them whenever they want. The desks are meant to help those struggling with anxiety or having difficulty focusing.

"Students who struggle with ADHD, we found that if they're able to move around and not feel like they have to lock their body down, then they're much more able to concentrate," English teacher Robin Speed told On The Coast.

Math teacher Stephen Watkins says the standing desks help put students, who are stressed out about the subject, at ease.

"I would imagine if you ask any student in this room how they felt about math, their opinions of math would be pretty low," he said.

"They have a lot of testing anxiety, so just in general, we try to give students options, to try and create a really nice learning environment for them so they feel comfortable."

For Grade 9 student Shamus Kain, standing up to work after sitting for a long time helps re-energize him.

"When I'm tired, I just need to walk around," he said.

"I just stand up and work, it helps. Sometimes I'm not getting a question. The next day I'm at the table, I kind of start to get it."

Listen to the full interview: Standing desks

With files from Jennifer Chen

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