But this week, we’re going to look at a different type of learning environment; the classroom. Businesses and schools are similar in the fact they’re both environments where you learn and work towards the same goal. So the question is; if ergonomic office furniture can improve an employee’s engagement, can it improve a student’s learning experience too?
The British Council for School Environments recognises the right of young people to learn in an environment which is safe, healthy and achieves the highest quality possible. Ergonomic furniture is designed to meet these requirements and as we touched upon in our previous blog on the matter, it can effectively aid engagement.
Traditional classroom furniture such as outdated and uncomfortable wooden chairs – which are still prevalent in many UK classrooms – can disrupt a child’s learning through distraction.
If those working in an office wouldn’t want to sit in an uncomfortable chair for more than six hours a day, why would students?
But an ergonomic chair’s adjustability allows it to be modified to fit a student’s specific physical needs. Sitting in a bespoke chair that doesn’t compromise on comfort will stimulate a greater focus in perception, memory, reasoning and motor response, thus improving engagement.
In today’s most progressive schools, technology is ubiquitous, collaboration is celebrated, movement is encouraged, and multiple activities take place in adaptable environments.
Flexible tables on castors, comfortable chairs and plentiful writing surfaces allow for a variety of activities and encourage collaborative learning experiences. Just by giving students the right tools to build upon one another’s thinking, they will learn to cultivate a culture of collaboration.
Having the ability to rearrange desks and seating through bespoke solutions will also greatly improve learning in the classroom, as teachers can alter the classroom layout to suite a specific task and activity.
One of the greatest benefits of ergonomic furniture is that is reduces the risk of injuries, both short-term and long-term.
If, for example, a chair is too small for a student, it’s likely that they will suffer stress on the spine, neck and hips. This uncomfortable experience can lead to health problems in later life, so having a bespoke chair that supports the natural curve of the spine, will help to alleviate such injuries occurring.