A study recently outlined by ScienceDaily.com describes how ADHD children need to move around more than their non-ADHD peers to help themselves complete challenging tasks like manipulating numbers. The article advises teachers not to severely limit this activity.
Is this really such a surprise and actually a problem?
Just 6 days previous to announcing this study, ScienceDaily discussed a study that showed that doodling while listening to a tape allowed members of the research panel of the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge to remember information more clearly.
Looks like it’s actually beneficial for everyone to have something going on on the side to help with concentration. The folks studying the kids found this was true for all of the young students as well: both ADHD kids and non-ADHD kids were still and calm when they were painting on a computer program while watching Star Wars.
A few schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota seem to get it. The New York Times has a piece about schools that have switched over to using desks that allow children to sit or stand. Most of them stand most of the time. And fidget as much as they want to.
“At a stand-up desk,” Ms. Seekel said, “I’ve never seen students with their heads down, ever. It helps with being awake, if they can stand, it seems. And for me as a teacher, I can stand at their level to help them. I’m not bent over. I can’t think of one reason why a classroom teacher wouldn’t want these.”
Researchers are currently studying these children to see if it does significantly change their performance and even how much it might accelerate their calorie-burning.
Whatever the long term benefits may be, Sarah Langer, 12, sees the advantage of a stand up desk pretty simply:
“At least you can wiggle when you want to.”