Minnesota’s Marine Elementary School and other nearby schools are using a type of adjustable-height school desk, allowing pupils to stand while they work, that sixth-grade teacher Abby Brown designed with the help of a local ergonomic furniture company two years ago, reports the New York Times. The desk’s popularity with children and teachers has spread by word of mouth to schools in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Now, orders for the desks are being filled for districts from North Carolina to California. The stand-up desks come with swinging footrests and adjustable stools, allowing children to switch between sitting and standing as their moods dictate. Marine Elementary finds itself at the leading edge of an idea that experts say continues to gain momentum in education: that furniture should be considered as seriously as instruction, particularly given the rise in childhood obesity and the decline in physical education and recess. Teachers say they know from experience that the desks help give children the flexibility they need to expend energy and, at the same time, focus better on their work rather than focusing on how to keep still. And researchers soon should know whether they can confirm these benefits…

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