Opinion: We need new chairs


Photo by Lincoln Aftergood

Senior Noam Levitt experiences back pain after sitting in a school chair for an extended period of time.

Aaron Waldman, Reporter

I often find myself hunched over or lounging back in one of the many uncomfortable chairs at CESJDS. I can’t ever seem to get comfortable, which often affects my learning and detracts from my education.

We as a school need to get new chairs. The current chairs at the Upper School have been used since 2000 according to the CFO of JDS Julie Hoover. It’s apparent that using the same chairs for over 20 years is not a good option. With the great improvements in the furniture industry, the school should already have bought new chairs as that would help students learn and focus better in school.

According to the Mayo Clinic, activities that require sitting for hours at a time can cause back and neck pain. The ways to minimize neck and back pain is to use a chair that supports the curves of one’s backs, allows one to put their feet flat on the ground and has armrests that allow for gently rested arms and relaxed shoulders.

Along with the chairs offered, there are stools used particularly in science classes. There are also issues that emerge with the stools as they offer no back support. The stools don’t allow one to put their feet flat on the ground which can also lead to back issues later on.

According to Physiopedia, there are several epidemiological studies that show between 30% and 70% of children have back pain. Additionally, adolescents who currently experience back pain are more likely to have chronic back pain. This is just one of the many factors we must consider when looking at new chairs.

Another factor is that we need to consider the durability of the chairs. The current chairs we have are not worth keeping if they always break. It is crucial to get chairs that we won’t need continuously.

“There [are] a lot of different options that might work best,” Hoover said. “And it [the chairs] might be different for some classes than other classes.”

Back in 2016, there was a push to get new furniture. The furniture budget at the time was $12,000 per classroom. JDS went to the extent of testing new furniture options, however there were not enough resources in the budget to accommodate this change. 

On a positive note, the board of directors at JDS will meet in early 2022 to address furniture issues at JDS. Hopefully, they can come to an agreement and set a new budget.

This pressing situation needs to be addressed. We need to get chairs that accommodate all types of students and most importantly chairs that will maximize our learning and reduce future health problems. I am confident that JDS will consider this in their decision and make the right choice.