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Southeastern PA

Pottstown classrooms swap sitting for standing

Pottstown classrooms swap sitting for...

POTTSTOWN, Pa. - "Stop moving" and "sit still" are common classroom phrases, but not for long at Pottstown High School in Montgomery County.

The school received 30 new standing desks Monday.

"It keeps you more awake, so I can focus on the class more," said Pottstown senior Josh Gery. 

School officials said they believe the extra physical activity will increase student engagement. 

"When you sit down, and you sit for a long period of time, all that blood flow and oxygen pools to the lower legs," said David Genova, the district's wellness coordinator.

The desks are made by Ergotron. The company teamed up with the organization 'Let's Move! Active Schools' to increase physical activity and education in classrooms.

"By introducing standing in the classroom, we're actually able to make a positive impact on a student's metabolic health. Higher heart rate, burning more calories, increasing insulin effectiveness and all of that translates to a more engaged student," said Bob Hill, the education manager at Ergotron.  

Pottstown entered the nationwide contest and won against more than 400 other schools. The 30 desks value at $16,000.

"It was overwhelming. It was fantastic. I knew it was a long shot, but I knew that somebody had to win," said Genova. 

Already, students are excited.

"A lot of the kids like it because sitting in class for an hour and a half gets really boring," Gery said.

Students can adjust the desk height to create personalized learning environments. Each one comes with a stool for sitting breaks.

"It really does help, so most people I know like it," Gery said.

For four years, Pottstown has encouraged classroom movement with its 'full body approach' to learning.

"It's really been a change of culture in our district, making sure that kids are actively engaged in the lesson," Genova said.

Pottstown High School is one a handful of schools in the country to have received such a donation from Ergotron.

"This is our future economic engine. This is our pipeline of talent, and we need to give them every opportunity to succeed," said Hill.

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