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Standing Desks Help Students Concentrate, Lose Weight

Standing Desks Help Student Concentrate, Lose Weight, Study Finds

Photos: Courtesy of Stand2Learn

Some schools have been transitioning to standing desks, and this might be one of the best practices for a students' health and productivity. 

So says Mark Benden, associate professor of environmental and occupational health at Texas A&M Health Science Center, who spearheaded a study looking at what happens to students when they moved to standing desks, according to an article on KQED.org. The desks, the article said, were designed by Stand2Learn, a company in Texas. 

"Too much sitting is bad four our health," he said. "And students are now facing a host of challenges that may stem in part from too much time in a chair, including obesity and attention disorders."

Their findings, the article said, was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, and looked at "a group of 374 elementary school students in College Station, Texas."

Students were "divided into a [traditional desk] control group and a standing desk group were equipped with biometric monitors – what Benden described as 'research-level Fitbits'– attached to their arms, which tracked several measurements, like heart rate and intensity of movement, and then calculated their caloric burn."

“We quickly realized they [the students] are more active, they are burning more calories, at the standing desks,” Benden said. “And they’re not necessarily standing the whole time. There’s a stool, too, but even sitting in a stool is different from sitting in a chair. It’s really not sitting or standing – because it opens up your trunk-thigh angle, you’re able to breathe better, and you’re able to swing your legs.”

Benden said results found that "children in the study who were overweight or obese burned more calories at the standing desks than their normal-weight peers," the article said.

“It’s interesting,” he said. “When you’re thinking about intervention, the children who are normal weight don’t experience a significant change from being in a seated classroom. But overweight kids get a bigger bump, and they’re the ones who need it the most.”

In terms of improving learning, "students were more engaged in activity permissive learning environments than in traditional seated environments," the article said.

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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