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K-12 classrooms are dynamic

They need educational furniture solutions that can keep up with the range of lesson plans and lecture styles. Furniture solutions that are flexible, adjusting to each student’s height and unique flow. Sit-stand furniture in the classroom is not only beneficial for students and teachers, allowing them to change postures and positions, staying comfortable and focused. It also unlocks a special flexibility in a classroom’s layout. Educational furniture that’s flexible (height-adjustable, multifunctional) can convert quickly to support every last learning objective. Student desks that fold and convert can be exceptionally nestable, too, creating wide-open space in a matter of seconds.

When we talk about educational furniture or solutions, we aren’t just talking about student desks. Think a height-adjustable teacher’s desk, mobile group project tables that convert into nestable whiteboards within seconds, or height-adjustable occasional tables that bring sit-stand ease to every corner of the classroom. All of these pieces of traditional classroom furniture can and should be sit-to-stand, flexibly accommodating change.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the concrete benefits.

Why K-12 educational spaces need sit-stand furniture

For one, the benefits for students are remarkable. Leading research finds a link between physical activity and focus — sit-stand height-adjustable desks can be game-changers for students who struggle to concentrate. Relatedly, fidgety students can enjoy the ability to change postures in seconds, exerting frenetic energy that otherwise eats at the focus. Some kids just need movement to stay focused. Here, flexible, innovative classroom furniture serves.

When you outfit a classroom with sit-stand height-adjustable furniture, you accommodate students of every height through one product. You empower them to actively find comfortable postures by tweaking their desk’s height and, in some cases (as with our Educate Table), the tabletop’s angle. Learning how to tweak one’s setup and environment for better focus is a skill that serves for a lifetime.

Benefits for Students

  • Movement sharpens focus

  • Students of all heights are accommodated

  • Kids can learn at a young how to stay active and engaged at the desk

Perhaps most importantly, by giving students sit-stand freedom in the classroom, we can teach them at a young age, when they’re most ‘malleable,’ how to stay active at the desk. “Sitting disease” is very real — by giving kids adjustable student desks, we’re helping them avoid long-term health problems like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity, and abnormal cholesterol. And perhaps most ubiquitous: back pain. Physical Therapist Amy Selinger finds that about 80% of us will develop back pain at some point in our lives — and a primary cause of our back pain is all the sitting we do in our lives (starting in kindergarten). According to Dr. Selinger’s work, a lifetime of sitting creates muscle imbalances and dysfunctional movement patterns.

Benefits for Teachers

  • Active students = healthier, happier students that perform better

  • Total flexibility in classroom layout

  • Reduced back pain, increased focus, higher energy levels

The benefits for teachers are just as strong. For one, an ergonomic sit-stand classroom boasts happier, healthier students who perform better in general. Sit-stand desks (pneumatic ones, specifically) are also insanely nestable, so they offer total flexibility in the classroom layout to accommodate changing needs. This flexibility really serves in STEM and Maker Spaces. 

Teachers also have much to gain by switching to a sit-stand height-adjustable desk themselves: reduced back pain, a higher calorie burn from a more active workflow, and an increased focus and productivity through a more engaged posture for starters. Flexible classroom furniture benefits everyone in the K-12 space.

Why every educator will be happier with pneumatic sit-stand furniture than with electric — flexibility, safety, and dependability

How do you pick between electric and pneumatic, the top sit-stand height-adjustable furniture types? Both are offered up as the modern, flexible school desk — centerpieces of the “21st-century classroom furniture.” 

Pneumatic desks and furniture are more dependable, representing the cost-effective solution, with some products boasting 30+ year lifespans. Their ease of use is also unbeatable. Electric sit-stand desks are powered by electric motors that introduce multiple problems: Where to plug the cord? Will my students be tripping over this new fleet of power cords? How much electricity will each desk draw? What if the desk’s motor burns out or its electric wiring fails? Pneumatic sit-stand solutions have no electric motor, so they don’t introduce these problems — for this, they are the better option for the classroom.

Pneumatic sit-stand solutions also beat out electric ones by one of the most important measures in the K-12 space: flexibility. With no power cord or electric motor in the way, pneumatic sit-stand solutions are exceptionally nest-able and fully mobile. 

  • Pneumatic sit-stand/height-adjustable desks use zero electricity and they don’t break down 

  • With no power cord, pneumatic desks are totally mobile, introducing no trip risk or clutter

  • Pneumatic solutions are insanely nestable

  • With no motor or wiring, pneumatic desks are also safer and easier to install

  • Pneumatics sit-stand furniture adjusts quickly, quietly, and effortlessly

Let’s dig a little deeper into these comparisons to understand some of the nuances — why you may want to ‘go pneumatic’ for your classroom furniture. 

Pneumatic sit-stand furniture doesn’t break down in the classroom — electric ones are more likely to by design

And because they are more dependable (and last longer), pneumatic sit-stand solutions prove to be the smart, long-term investment. Pneumatic products have no electric motor or wiring, so they’re much less likely to ever break down than electric ones. They have no inherent risk of motor burnout, electronic wiring failure, or requirement to reset due to either intentional or unintentional power loss. 

A well-designed, well-made pneumatic desk boasts a lifespan of 30+ years, too, because the product’s lifting system is non-complex (made of minimal components). As an example, all of Kesseböhmer’s pneumatic sit-stand educational furniture was designed in Germany by masters of furniture-making — to adhere to a minimal aesthetic. The benefit of a minimal aesthetic is that it produces designs with minimal components. And minimal components means minimal risk of breakdown. 

Pneumatic classroom furniture use zero electricity while electric furniture (desks) draw power 24/7

A pneumatic lifting system uses no electricity because it’s powered by air. On the other, the insidious “vampire draw” of a fleet of electric desks will run up the utility bill in a classroom of 20-40 students.

With no motor or wiring, pneumatic school furniture is also safer 

Students aren’t going to cause an electric fire or damage the product’s lifting system with the next inevitable liquid spill. And there is no risk of a voltage issue or wiring break causing a fire with a pneumatic solution. You can also stop its lifting mechanism instantly, so there’s no risk of damaging something beneath the product by mistake.

With no power cord, pneumatic desks are totally mobile, introducing no clutter or trip risk in the classroom

Because they are power free, there is no limitation — per outlet availability — on where you can take a pneumatic sit-stand solution. And teachers don’t have to worry about their students running over their most important cord when they do ‘relocate’ (because there isn’t one). Relatedly, this style of height-adjustable desk or table introduces no cord clutter or trip risk at a grand scale in the way electric ones do. 

Pneumatic school desks and products are easier to install

Because there are no integrated power cord or cable management features, installation takes about 10 minutes. That’s quite a time-saver if you’re setting up 20-40 products  — teachers tables, kids school tables, and other educational furniture solutions.

Pneumatic desks blow electric sit-stand desks out of the water with their nest-ability

Because they are power free, there is no limitation — per outlet availability — on where you can take a pneumatic sit-stand solution. And teachers don’t have to worry about their students running over their most important cord when they do ‘relocate’ (because there isn’t one). Relatedly, this style of height-adjustable desk or table introduces no cord clutter or trip risk at a grand scale in the way electric ones do. 

With no power cords or electric motor in the way, and with the option to add casters, pneumatic sit-stand desks are ultimate “nesters.” Nest-ability is a great function to have in any classroom where space is at a premium or flexibility in the classroom’s setup is needed. Or where the teacher sometimes needs to create open space in a jiffy for a kinetic activity. 

Teachers and students can simply lift each desk and nest away. Take a look at our Nestable Desk Boards, which can be converted from a folding classroom table into a whiteboard within seconds, nested board to board to create an open floor plan — talk about 21st-century classroom furniture!

Pneumatic sit-stand solutions adjust in about 3 seconds, quietly and effortlessly — they contribute to student focus rather than interrupting it

In K-12 groups, all it takes is one distraction to break the focus of the entire class. Electric motors are notoriously noisy, whirring as the user adjusts the desk. Pneumatic solutions, on the other hand, are virtually silent. They also adjust about 8 times faster than your standard electric desk. Not to mention, they are easy to adjust. You just hold the handle as you lift the desk or push it down to the right height. So a pneumatic desk doesn’t interrupt a student’s focus or that of peers around them. Instead, it contributes to their focus.

Kesseböhmer is your reliable partner for a full range of the highest quality sit-stand school furniture on the market

Our products proudly boast 30+ year lifespans — some of the longest on the pneumatic school furniture market. Each of our products represents a long-term investment in educational furniture.

  • German-designed Every Kesseböhmer product is designed in Germany, where European furniture makers have been perfecting their craft for hundreds of years. The result is modern design that achieves the pinnacle of minimalism. And minimal parts and components equates to maximum dependability.
  • Commercial-grade Swiss steel legs Swiss steel is the only metal in the world that achieves the high tolerance required for commercial use — a tolerance that gives Kesseböhmer’s height-adjustable educational furniture some of the most impressive lifetimes in the industry. Our solutions deliver and delight through each school year and for each individual student.
  • American-made Our products are manufactured in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Manufacturing standards tend to be the highest in America and Europe.
  • BIFMA x5.5-passing BIFMA x 5.5 is the industry’s leading safety, durability, and structural integrity test.

Reliable support team

Our team has 50+ years of experience in the field. We’re proud and happy to answer every question, offer our best advice, and provide ongoing support