For many school children with disabilities—especially those with an IEP or a 504 plan—the ability to get up and move around the classroom is a common (and practical) accommodation. Be it standing, walking, jumping, or getting the wiggles out in general—for these kids, the freedom to engage in physical activity throughout the learning day is critical to their success.
That’s why standing desks are becoming popular beyond the workplace; they’re gaining serious traction in the classroom, as well. The benefits are proven: Aside from reducing a child’s risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, standing desks perfectly align with research showing that continuous activity and better posture directly impact everyone’s ability to remain engaged, alert and focused on the task at hand.
Plus, with standing desks going more mainstream (and their benefits becoming generally accepted across society), a standing desk might be a worthwhile accommodation to consider for your child.
Of course, it’s possible your child may feel different from the other students if he or she is the only student with a standing desk. Ideally, all students in the classroom would have a standing desk—but given the high cost of replacing an entire classroom, school, or district with standing desks, that’s simply not a practical expectation.
More subtle adaptations to the classic desk configuration exist, which may provide the accommodation for movement that your child requires. Instead of a fidget foot bar, for example (a standard feature of a standing desk) you can outfit a regular desk with elasticized bands that fit onto the desk legs and provide greater leg movement. You may also want to consider a yoga ball chair (here’s an example: Balance Ball Chair) as a replacement to the traditional desk chair to provide more fluid movement throughout the day, as well.
No matter what solution you choose, remember that the best learning environment for your child is one that takes his or her physical comfort into account. A standing desk can help achieve that goal—and help your child succeed as a result.