Green Hope Students Sit Too Much

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Green Hope Students Sit Too Much

Are GH students sitting too much?

Are GH students sitting too much?

Wikimedia Commons

Are GH students sitting too much?

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Are GH students sitting too much?

Hannah McCarron, Staff Writer

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When a student walks into a classroom at Green Hope, one of the first instructions they hear is, “Take your seats, please.” Because the majority of time spent in high school is in seats, the act of sitting down has become synonymous with schoolwork. This has become a burden to both the quality of our health and our learning. Students at schools all across the globe, including at Green Hope, are sitting down too much.

If one does the math, Green Hope students are at school for about seven hours each day. There are six minutes between each period to walk from class to class. In addition, there are fifty minutes for lunch, another period of time most likely spent sitting down. That means there is only a shy half-an-hour each day designated for students to be walking around. Using generous calculations, students sit for approximately six hours while at school.

There is an abundant amount of evidence proving this to be an extremely unhealthy habit. According to WebMd, prolonged sitting can increase the risk of dangerous diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even dementia. Many people also report persistent back pain from sitting down for long periods of time.

Teenagers often disregard risks like these because they feel invincible to these conditions. Although it is unlikely for these symptoms to develop while young, but a life of sitting constantly is sure to eventually catch up. This slow onset of symptoms is especially dangerous because it allows one to develop the conception that sitting is harmless rather than a serious threat to one’s well-being.

Along with the health risks that come with excessive sitting, there is another, more immediate danger: the missed opportunity for a full capacity of learning. The human brain is not designed to live a life sitting at a table and staring at a sheet of paper. It wants students to move around and engage in hands-on learning with the world around them.

So what can we do to improve our circumstances?

This can be a tricky question to answer. The institution of schools have almost always been similar to ours in terms of sitting while learning. A tradition like this is difficult to pull away from and not necessary to change entirely. There are indeed cases in which sitting is okay and even necessary to focus on a challenging concept and so the abandonment of sitting in schools completely would be unproductive. In order to simply change the extremeness of our sitting we must get smarter about when it is necessary. If teachers are given better tools to recognize when a lesson could be hands-on and the proper resources to develop these lessons, we could see a healthier amount of sitting being practiced at our schools. In addition to this, teachers could take “stretch breaks” in class to allow students to stand up for a minute and split up the time they spend sitting.

This is not an easy problem to fix, but one that is indeed worthwhile. If we can get students out of their seats, we can all be in better health and be more inclined to deeper learning.