Every school year starts the same. Kids spend loads of time playing outside all summer long. They’re free to run, dance, and move the way that young bodies should. But then the school year hits and BAM! – they’re suddenly chained to hard, uncomfortable desks and expected to sit still for seven or eight hours a day …And we wonder why students have a hard time paying attention?

Educators have long realized that this is a major problem. But in recent years, they have really started to take matters into their own hands. Active seating in classrooms is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason! Allowing students to get up and move during the school day makes a monumental difference in their progress and performance.1

supple collection chairs

What Is Active Seating?

Active seating is any kind of seating arrangement that allows people to move or be active while they sit. Some examples include bean bag chairs, stools, balance balls, wobbly chairs, and standing desks.

active seating classrooms

What Are the Benefits of Active Seating in the Classroom?

It used to be believed that thinking and moving were two separate functions that could not cross over. But thanks to science, we now know better. Research and scientific studies on cognition and movement show us that there is, in fact, a strong connection between the two. In Teaching with the Brain in Mind, author Eric Jensen explains the connection, “…the part of the brain that processes movement is the same part of the brain that processes learning.”2 An abundance of functional evidence and findings from imaging techniques support this claim.

That being said, it’s no wonder that so many teachers today are now switching to active seating in their classrooms. Seating arrangements that allow students to move, fidget, and wiggle provide numerous benefits, some of which include:

  • Improved cognition and memory: Studies show that exercise facilitates the growth of new brain cells. Increased neurogenesis results in improvements in memory, cognition, and mood.
  • Increases blood flow: Movement increases blood flow, which means more oxygen is brought to the brain. Oxygen is essential for brain function.
  • Supports special needs learners: Movement makes the brain active in a number of areas. Researchers believe that this may make learning easier for students with special needs. Studies have shown that movement can be especially useful for students with dyslexia.2
  • Of course, these are just some of the many benefits of active seating in classrooms. Other benefits include improved focus, better social skills, reduced stress, and reduced risk of obesity and heart problems.

    Bring Movement Into Your Classroom

    Make movement a part of learning in your classroom with active seating options from the Supple Collection. Browse our catalog today to get started!


    1. Braniff, Carrie Jean. “The Effects of Movement in the Classroom”. 2011. Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c1cd/dc5547efb174be53c1c9ea50aa7a1d9be3ee.pdf
    2. Jensen, Eric. “Teaching with the Brain in Mind”. ASCD. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/104013/chapters/Movement-and-Learning.aspx