Standing desks: We think better on our feet, study

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Image courtesy of Wired

 

Standing desks, a desk used while standing up or sitting on a high stool, were popular in the homes and offices of the rich during the 18th and 19th centuries. More recently, the standing desk has made a comeback thanks to its purported health benefits.

So what kind-of health benefits does a standing desk have? Well, there certainly must be some truth in the debate considering a California school is going to implement standing desks in the classroom.

According to San Francisco Sun Times, Vallecito Elementary will begin implementing standing desks in the four of the school’s classrooms with students spending their day standing and sitting at their discretion.

In a new study from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, researchers found that students with standing desks are more attentive than their seated counterparts with a 12 percent higher on-task engagement.

Published in the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, the findings were based on 300 children in second through fourth grade, observed over the course of a school year. “On-task” behaviours such as answering questions, raising their hand or participating in active discussion were considered.

Aside from preventing a sedentary lifestyle and obesity, these findings seem to support that standing desks have a myriad of health benefits including increasing the performance of our minds and having positive effects on cognitive ability.

 

Journal Source:

Marianela Dornhecker, Jamilia J. Blake, Mark Benden, Hongwei Zhao, Monica Wendel. The effect of stand-biased desks on academic engagement: an exploratory study. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 2015

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