Pupils at Bradford school learn while standing up behind their desks

Children at the Grove House primary school are taking part in an experiment to find out how sitting down for long periods affects concentration and health

Antonia Molloy
Friday 09 May 2014 10:45
Each student taking part will be taught standing up for a total of 230 minutes a week
Each student taking part will be taught standing up for a total of 230 minutes a week

Teachers at a school in West Yorkshire have come up with an innovative way of injecting some oomph into their students – by teaching them while they’re standing up.

Grove House primary school in Bradford has become the first in Europe to try out the educational tool, The Yorkshire Post reported.

Year five pupils are participating in a seven-week pilot programme run by medical researchers Born in Bradford, which will see students taking it in turns to stand up behind six desks while the rest of the class remains seated.

Each student will stand for a total of 230 minutes each week.

The project, which has been previously carried out in Australia, is designed to find out how sitting down for long periods of time affects children’s concentration and, in the long-term, their health.

Teacher Hannah Rogers, 28, told The Yorkshire Post: “The pupils have been so excited to take part in this experiment and they absolutely love it.

“We’ve only been doing it two weeks in my class and already I can see an improvement.

“I’ve got a very active class and I think they’re really responding to having more freedom, it keeps them focused.

“They’re working better, their concentration is better, and when given the option, they want to continue standing rather than going back to sitting.”

A total of 55 pupils are taking part in the study – half of them have already completed the experiment, while the other half is undertaking it currently.

During the study, the pupils are monitored by both an actigraph accelerator, which calculates how much physical activity is carried out, and an actipal activity monitor, which measures whether they are standing or sitting.

Their weight, height, blood pressure, waist circumference and fine motor skills are also monitored.

Dr Sally Barber, principal research fellow at Born in Bradford, told the newspaper: “Firstly, we want to see whether we can change pupils’ behaviour.

“We know if you can establish healthy lifestyles early in life, that can be continued into adulthood.

“Secondly, sitting for a long period of time has been shown to have a negative impact on children in terms of concentration and behaviour. We want to see if this study will change that. “

The results of the first study are expected to be released in mid-September.

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