Footloose And Fancy-Free: Furniture In The Classroom

Decent Essays

It is very often that as a teacher I am encouraging my students to “sit up straight”, “face forward”, and “put your legs under your desk”. Would I have any sympathy for a student who responded by telling me that they couldn’t because their body would not allow them to do that based on the furniture that I have provided them in the classroom? Probably not. Students spend close to 30% of their total day in school and for the majority of that time, they are seated for long periods (Linton, Hellsing, Halme, & Akerstedt, 1994). And for the most part, the furniture in the classrooms is not designed to promote a good seating posture, which affects the students’ behavior and optimal performance (Mandal, 1981) Children who are uncomfortable in their seats may tend to demonstrate behaviors deemed inappropriate in the classroom. These behaviors may take the form of fidgeting, rocking, or other changes in their positions to take away any discomfort they are feeling. The student may seem inattentive, when in fact they are trying to cope with the discomfort they are feeling because of the chair (Oxford, 1969). Ergonomics is the study of how efficient a person can be given their working environment. “Ergonomics for …show more content…

This kind of stress on the body can often lead to the need for regular movement or even fatigue. She also states that people who happen to be sufficiently padded in bottom can sit for more than ten to thirteen minutes in a standard classroom chair without the need for movement or feeling discomfort. Even as far back as 1988, Dunn and Griggs (1988) suggested that schools were becoming more aware of a students need for physiological comfort that comes from fulfilled ergonomic needs to fully concentrate in the

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