Standing desks can help reduce BMI, says a study in Texas

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standing desks

Standing desks are desks for writing or reading while standing up. They were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, when rich people used them in the homes and offices.

Nowadays, standing desks have regained some popularity due to their health benefits, such as burning calories.

Recently, a study shows that standing desks can lower body mass index (BMI) in students during 2 years of use. The finding is published in American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers from University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences, and Texas A&M University School of Public Health conducted the study.

They recruited 380 students in Grade 3 and Grade 4 in 3 Texas schools. Half of the students studied in classrooms with standing desks, and half of the students studied in traditional seated classrooms.

Researchers recorded the height and weight of these students at the beginning (2011-2012) and at the end (2013-2014) of the 2-year study.

After controlling the influences of grade, race/ethnicity, and gender, they found that students using standing desks had a strong decrease in BMI (on average 5.24) compared with students who in the seated classrooms.

Researchers suggest that this finding is line with previous results that standing desks can help people burn more calories and keep fit.

Using standing desks may help students avoid overweight and obesity, and educators should consider redesigning traditional classroom environments.

It is also worth noting that standing desks might bring some health risks, including higher chances of varicose veins and lower birth weight (for pregnant women).

Therefore, it is good to using a standing desk to avoid prolonged sitting, but people should not use it too much every day.


Citation: Wendel ML, et al. (2016). Stand-Biased Versus Seated Classrooms and Childhood Obesity: A Randomized Experiment in Texas. American Journal of Public Health, 106: 1849-1854. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303323.
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