For those who have been following the addition of standing desks to children’s classrooms, there’s exciting news: a new study shows that stand-biased desks in classrooms can help cut down obesity by slowing BMI increases in students. Researchers from Texas A&M and University of Louisville published their findings in the American Journal of Public Health this summer, and the story was quickly spread by publications like Fortune, Bloomberg, and Fast Company.
So what exactly does this research mean? Essentially, it’s another point on the board for standing desks in schools. This study joins the ranks of research touting improved cognition, student engagement, and other general health benefits that come with using standing desks in the classroom.
This particular study focused on stand-biased desks, which include a tall stool for children to use when they would like a break from standing.
“Classrooms with stand-biased desks are part of what we call an Activity Permissive Learning Environment (APLE), which means that teachers don’t tell children to ‘sit down,’ or ‘sit still’ during class,” said Mark Benden, PhD, CPE, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Texas A&M School of Public Health and an author of the study. “Instead, these types of desks encourage the students to move instead of being forced to sit in poorly fitting, hard plastic chairs for six or seven hours of their day.”
This encouragement of movement, which Benden emphasized in his discussion with Texas A&M publication Vital Record, is what we think is the most important part of bringing standing desks to schools. When children have the opportunity to move as they learn, countless barriers are broken down—physically, emotionally, and mentally.
“Sit less, move more,” Benden said. “That’s our message.”
To learn more about how you can add movement to schools near you, reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.