Many people can remember the austere furniture of their school days. Creaky wooden desks and hard chairs often made the classroom an uncomfortable learning environment. Fortunately, in recent years much has been done to improve the design of school desks and chairs to ensure that children are comfortable in the classroom. Ergonomically designed chairs help to promote effective learning and can also have beneficial effects on spinal health.
Well-designed chairs and tables may help to improve children’s performance in class. Chairs of the correct size and shape will ensure that children sit up straight, keeping comfortable and also more alert. Youngsters may become fractious if they are sitting in an uncomfortable seat and are more likely to suffer from lack of concentration and difficulties with behaviour.
It is important that chairs and tables are designed to suit the age and size of the pupils. While using smaller chairs and tables in early-years classrooms is nothing new, recent research has underlined the importance of ensuring that all school furniture is built to match the pupils as they grow during their time in school. With this in mind, school furniture suppliers have set about producing a full range of ergonomically designed chairs and tables in various sizes.
Chairs and tables in the classroom should provide adequate support for young backs. The latest generation of specially designed chairs will ensure a better sitting posture, which will in turn also help to improve posture while standing. Children sit in classrooms for long periods of time and doing so in uncomfortable, unsupportive chairs may have detrimental effects on spinal development during childhood. Sitting in the wrong size chair, slumping over a desk, or having a chair which is too high or too low can all lead to curvature of the spine and other back problems. In ordinary sitting and standing positions, the human spine is a gentle ‘S’ shape, but a poor posture when sitting down causes the back to curve into a ‘C’ shape, resulting in problems such as excessive pressure on spinal discs and lower-back pain.
New Ways of Learning
Learning styles have changed significantly in recent decades. Children are encouraged to interact in different ways and classrooms must be easily adaptable. Of course, the traditional wooden desks of bygone days are not suitable for dynamic twenty-first century learning patterns. Nowadays, chairs and tables not only need to protect young spines, they must also be made from lightweight materials which allow them to be moved around easily for group work.
Tables and chairs are a basic necessity for all schools. Parents and teachers should be aware of the importance of finding the right ones for a particular learning environment. Well-designed school furniture considers the physical and psychological impact of comfort and posture and can help to improve academic performance. Having the right chairs and tables can benefit students’ long-term health as well as having a positive impact on their concentration and behaviour. Purpose-built school furniture also enables teachers to vary interaction patterns in the classroom, making for more dynamic and effective learning.