Stand-Biased Desks


A new twist on concentration: Standing while you work by Alison DeNisco (DA). Various schools nationwide are using standing desks in their classrooms -- a growing trend that some say could help curb childhood obesity and help students pay attention in class. Some researchers expect standing desks to become even more commonplace in classes as they become more affordable over the next three to five years.

Classroom standing desks may curb kids’ sedentary time by Lisa Rapaport (Reuters). School-age children may sit less and watch less television if they use standing desks during the school day, according to an analysis in Pediatrics. Children in one study spent 71 fewer minutes a day watching TV and using computers after standing desks were added to the classroom. 

How Standing Desks Can Help Students Focus in the Classroom by Holly Korbey (MindShift). A recent study of Texas students who used standing desks found that such students were more attentive and engaged in the classroom. The study by Mark Benden, associate professor at Texas A&M Health Science Center, found that students who were in activity-permissive learning environments were more engaged than students in traditional seated environments. 

Sitting Is Bad for Children, Too by Gretchen Reynolds (NY Times). Study: Sitting too much may negatively affect children's heart health. A Canadian study in the journal Experimental Physiology revealed girls who sat for three uninterrupted hours had as much as a 33% decline in arterial dilation, compared with those who broke up their sitting time with riding a stationary bicycle and had no vascular function decline. Researchers used a cohort of nine girls ages 9 to 12.  

Standing desks at schools: The solution to the childhood obesity epidemic? by Ariana Eunjung Cha (Washington Post). Study data from Britain and Australia show when students used standing desks, they spent less time sitting, adding to U.S. studies that found children at standing desks also expend more calories compared with peers at regular school desks. Surveys also show students and teachers like standing desks. 

Standing Desks Keep Kids Better Tuned In by Dian Schaffhauser (The Journal). Students who used a standing desk were more engaged in learning than those who were seated at conventional desks, according to a recent study. Researchers gauged students' focus by measuring on-task behaviors such as how many times students contributed to class discussions.

The Evaluation of the Impact of a Stand-Biased Desk on Energy Expenditure and Physical Activity for Elementary School Students by Mark E. Benden, Hongwei Zhao, Christina E. Jeffrey, Monica L. Wendel and Jamilia J. Blake. Due to the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity, the association between classroom furniture and energy expenditure as well as physical activity was examined using a standing-desk intervention in three central-Texas elementary schools. Of the 480 students in the 24 classrooms randomly assigned to either a seated or stand-biased desk equipped classroom, 374 agreed to participate in a week-long data collection during the fall and spring semesters.




Desk standing is like 'training for a marathon', researchers say by Anna Patty (SMH)




Stationary bikes in the classroom: Are we spinning out of control? by Paul Bennett (The Globe and Mail (Toronto)). Some schools in Canada are installing stationary bikes in classrooms to help calm and focus students. In this commentary, Paul Bennett, the director of the Schoolhouse Institute in Halifax, Nova Scotia, shares research about the trend.



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