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Columbia Flexible Seating Turns To Rockers For Dynamic Movement

by | Mar 19, 2019

Flexible seating classroom options give kids ownership over their learning and Columbia Manufacturing is leading the way with numerous styles. From mobile stools and chairs to rockers in the classroom, students and teachers are experiencing the benefits of flexible seating chairs.

For decades, classrooms were lined with heavy, metal desks. Students were directed to sit single file on hard wooden seats that allowed zero movement. What we’ve discovered through research is the freedom to move can be an effective cognitive strategy.  In fact, maverick scientists say movement strengthens learning, improves memory and retrieval, and enhances learner motivation and morale.

If today’s students are going to succeed, it’s up to teachers and administrators to offer them the best base – both figuratively and literally.

Flexible Seating Classroom Options Support Learning

In 2015, researchers from the University of Salford in the United Kingdom visited 153 classrooms in 27 schools across the country. Their goal was to “study the design of lived-in classrooms, including looking at hard-to-define factors like flexibility.” The study considered the effect of classroom design on academic performance for 3,766 British children aged 5 to 11. What the researchers discovered is “classroom flexibility is about as important as air quality, light, or temperature in boosting academic outcomes.”

Flexible seating chairs come in several styles. Depending on the classroom and age group, administrators can choose from the different options:

  • Computer chair with casters: Students and teachers can sit and move comfortably while at the computer in the Columbia Manufacturing Computer Chair. The casters will operate smoothly on VCT floors or carpet.
  • Omnia stacking chair: Great for lab work or classroom seating to allow for small group conversations. The casters will operate smoothly on VCT floors or carpet and the curved design of the chair supports a comfortable position.
  • Omnia rocker: The traditional classroom chair is converted to a rocker in this sleek design. The rockers offer superior upper back and lumbar support with back flex for added comfort. The frame maximizes stability and blends perfectly with new or existing furniture.

The rocker is one of the newest additions to flexible seating classrooms. Without getting out of their chair or disrupting the class, a student can easily rock back and forth while staying engaged with the lesson.

Kids React To Flexible Seating Chairs

In Woodland, Washington, a classroom full of 8-year-olds were able to take advantage of flexible seating when the teacher noticed they needed a change. The Columbian spoke with teachers Megan Lascik and Jennifer Crosby about the seating adjustment.

“It’s made them more relaxed,” Crosby said. “It lets them get the wiggles out.”

The teachers aren’t the only ones who have experienced a change in the classroom. One student notes, “It’s fun to wobble while doing math instead of (sitting in) chairs. Chairs are boring.”

The benefits of flexible seating, as with the Omnia rocker, are seen in the students’ learning, engagement, and focus. Offering a flexible seating classroom to students can allow them to have a richer learning experience, while simply rocking to and fro.

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