Britain will perhaps be the first to chair some healthy practices in classrooms, meant to be chair free that will ensure, pupils stand for hours a day. This follows a study, which has indicated that 'standing' could contribute to significant weight loss, as against sitting which can be causing accumulation of fat.
According to researchers, children were capable of burning many calories by standing that ensured their waists were 'sample and not ample! This unconventional approach has been promulgated by a British authority on obesity, James Levine, a medical consultant at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, in the United States. Childhood obesity problems will find an answer in these stand-up lessons, according to him.
For the week-long study, volunteers aged between 10 and 12 from a nearby school were taught their normal curriculum in a specially deigned classroom. Instead of sitting at conventional desks, children used "lean and move bays", where they used a laptop , white boards and vertical screens. The pupils spent an average of five hours a day standing.
"In this environment, children are more active and more engaged," said Dr Levine. "There was no compulsion to be active, the idea is to make standing and moving the coolest thing to do. From our early findings, I would say that this approach has the potential to prevent an obesity epidemic in children."
Dr Levine's work has been quite like a trendsetter, being followed at Britain's first "fat camp", the Carnegie International Weight Loss Camp at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Prof Paul Gately, the camp director, said: "Our programmes are very active and this summer we will be looking at getting rid of chairs and tables in our classrooms. To tackle this problem we are convinced that we need to engineer more activity into the day, he said. It is perfectly feasible for more schools to do this. Our lab sessions are already chair-free and we encourage walking meetings."