Have you heard the phrase “Sitting is the new smoking” ? More and more research is showing the dangers of prolonged sitting. Well a grade 1 class is taking the lead by adding standing desks to their classroom.

A first-grade teacher in Saskatchewan is giving his students a lesson in the health benefits of standing up.

In September, Justin Sauer raised the height of all the desks in his classroom at Delisle Elementary School, in Delisle, Sask.

He was motivated by research that shows sitting too much can lead to health problems in adults and children.

One such study, from researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa in 2013, found that sugar and fat build up in the blood when children sit too long. Too much sugar and fat leads to obesity, diabetes and heart problems.

Since propping up all of the desks using metal extensions, most of Sauer’s students are opting to stand.

He’s already noticed some changes.

“(Parents) told me their kids were sleeping better, had better postures,” he says.

On top of that, several appear to be paying more attention in class.

“I can say definitively that five or six kids have really benefited,” he says.

Sauer hopes that his students aren’t the only ones who learn this lesson. He thinks fellow teachers should take note too.

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