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Schools embrace nontraditional furniture

  • Oodle stool by Smith System. Oodle is a 17-inch-diameter stool with two sides students can sit on—one surface is flat and the other tilts 10 degrees in any direction. Students can also stack these 6 1/2-inch stools on top of one another to add seating height. Oodle comes in five mix-and-match colors.
  • LearnFit sit-stand desk by Ergotron. The LearnFit desk has a lever that adjusts the surface from a standing position (44 inches) to stool height (29 inches). It comes with a cup holder, pencil tray, backpack hook, storage bins, and a slot for vertical and horizontal tablets. Four dual-wheel casters, two of which lock, let students move their desks easily across the classroom.
  • Deskcise Pro by FlexiSpot. The Deskcise Pro is a desk bike that allows students to cycle, sit or stand. Students can adjust the desk surface up, down, forward and backward. The Deskcise also has a height-adjustable seat, 360-degree wheels with gravity-sensor locks, and a quiet pedaling system that offers eight levels of resistance.
  • Toggle adjustable table by KI. KI’s adjustable tables come with either a single motor, which offers a height adjustment of 27 1/2 inches to 47 inches, or a dual motor that increases the range to 52 inches. The standard Toggle has an electric switch with two buttons to raise or lower the table, and the deluxe version offers preprogramming of up to four different heights. The electric, base-only option can be used with an existing surface.
  • 5th-12th grade original standing desk by Stand2Learn. Stand2Learn’s standing desk has adjustable legs that can alter its height from 34 inches to 42 inches. A footrest provides students with two places to put their feet, and learners can use the desk’s angled surface as a whiteboard. The desk has a built-in pencil groove and a hard polymeric top that will not scratch or dent.
  • RondoLift-KF table by VS America. Students can adjust the height of this table from 27 1/4 inches to 44 1/2 inches with a hand switch that has a safety cover to protect against unintentional use. The table’s legs come with optional lockable casters, making movement easier when needed. Tabletop shapes include oval, circular or square, and come in multiple colors.
  • Royal Seating 1600 Series switch desk with fidget pedal by School Specialty. This desk—with a 20-inch by 26-inch table-top—can be adjusted from 26 inches to 42 inches in height. A fidget pedal adjusts the desk to front, middle and rear positions. A plastic book box comes standard and can be used to store supplies. The table is available in laminate or hard plastic, and also in various colors.

Teachers now promote physical movement almost as purposefully as they strive for mental leaps and bounds. Accordingly, some of the latest models of nontraditional furniture rolling into schools feature sit-stand desks, stackable stools with tiltable surfaces, adjustable tables and desks with bikes.

Recent research shows standing burns more calories, increases heart rate, maintains healthy insulin levels and helps students focus.

For example, body mass index dropped more for a group of Texas students who stood in class than it did for students who sat at regular desks, according to a two-year study in the American Journal of Public Health.

View the products in the accompanying slideshow images above.