Improve Student Learning

Could new chairs improve student learning?


ImageDid you ever think you could make yourself smarter by changing the chair you sit in every day?

A researcher with the German government is recommending schools switch over to a new style of seat to help students learn better.

Dr. Dieter Breithecker wants educators to think about improving the brain, by where you park your behind. He says when students sit in rigid chairs their bodies and brains are not stimulated enough.

"Sitting in a static way, you lose attention and concentration," Dr. Dieter Breithecker, Motion Specialist said. "You will fall in a body and mind fatigue."

Instead, Breithecker says students should use ergonomic chairs which are flexible and shaped to the spine to allow movement. He says that is when students learn better.

"When the pelvis is in activity, your whole postural organs are active," he added, along with the brain.
"They have more blood flow. There's more muscular activity. There's more oxygen supply."

The Adams 14 School District in Denver, Colorado is already using ergonomic chairs in elementary schools. The chairs will also be placed in the new Adams City High School when it opens next Fall.

A motion specialist, Dr. Breithecker says he studied students for four years who switched from rigid chairs to ergonomic ones. He says the results were astounding. "We really found out that the attentiveness of the kids was better, that they were more awakened, so they could absorb the academics better."

While the chairs are obviously more expensive than the typical ones, Breithecker says students' learning improved by changing chairs and also by having teachers engage in activities that required more movement as well.

He also recommends that students stand more, about 30 percent of the time, to keep their brains even more active.

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