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healthy schools

A hand lever on the LearnFit allows students to change the height of their desktops so they can work and collaborate standing or sitting—whichever is more natural to them. LearnFit also can be moved easily on its rollers to reconfigure classrooms for small-group breakouts. It can hold up to 15 pounds of laptops or other equipment.

Using standing desks may help students burn more calories and pay more attention than using traditional desks, studies show.

A growing workplace health trend is moving to classrooms: More schools are adding standing desks as a tool to increase alertness and combat childhood obesity.

With electronic cigarette use among middle and high school students having more than doubled over the past three years, administrators nationwide are banning these products on campus.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that provide doses of nicotine and other additives in aerosol form. The FDA Center for Tobacco Products said last spring that it will regulate e-cigarettes but has not yet issued any rules. Until the FDA does more intensive testing of these products, little will be know about the chemicals inhaled or the potential impact on health.

NanoSeptic products have surfaces that kill bacteria, viruses, and funguses. Standard products include door push pads and handle wraps for public area doorways, and snack/desk mats for the classroom. NanoSeptic can customize to a school’s environment and needs.


School lunches are at the front lines of the country’s childhood obesity and nutrition crisis. First Lady Michelle Obama, star chef Jamie Oliver and the “Renegade Lunch Lady” activist Ann Cooper have helped draw the public interest to the problems in school cafeterias.

Since 2009, I have worked with The Culinary Institute of America’s Menu for Healthy Kids initiative. We have provided school districts in New York’s Hudson Valley with tools to improve the food served to students.

Schools feeling an increasing need to provide student mental health services are partnering with nonprofits to open on-campus clinics as budget cuts have left many districts with fewer psychologists, counselors, and social workers.

Walking to school combats obesity and increases student concentration, according to a Danish study released last year. Children who walk or bike to school performed better on tasks demanding concentration, such as solving puzzles, than those who traveled by car or bus, the researchers found.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most children and adolescents in the United States eat too much sugar, fat, and salt, but not enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Further, they consume about half their “empty calories” in the form of soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza and whole milk (CDC, 2013).

Controversy over so-called “fat letters” mailed from district offices to parents, informing them if they have an overweight, healthy weight or underweight child, is erupting across the nation.

 Serena Williams, Colin Kaepernick and Michelle Obama dance with school children at a Chicago fitness event on Feb. 28, 2013.