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Using Stand/Sit Workstations in Classrooms: Lessons Learned From a Pilot Study in Texas

Blake, Jamilia J. PhD; Benden, Mark E. CPE, PhD; Wendel, Monica L. DrPH, MA

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: September/October 2012 - Volume 18 - Issue 5 - p 412–415
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3182215048
Original Articles

Childhood obesity has grown into a national epidemic since the 1980s. Many school-based intervention efforts that target childhood obesity involve curriculum and programming that demands instructional time, which disincentivizes school participation. Stand-biased classrooms are an environmental intervention that promotes standing rather than sitting by utilizing standing height desks that allow students to stand during normal classroom activities. The quasi-experimental pilot study was conducted in 5 first-grade classrooms in a Texas elementary school, with 2 control classrooms, 2 treatment classrooms, and 1 classroom that was a control in the fall and treatment in the spring (to allow for within-group comparisons). This intervention has been shown effective in significantly increasing caloric expenditure. In addition, the present study reveals potential behavioral effects from standing. This article presents lessons learned from the pilot study that may prove useful for others implementing similar interventions and calls for additional research on the academic benefits of standing for students.

This study shows the effect of using stand-based workstations in schools, which significantly increase caloric expenditure, and reveals potential behavioral effects from standing.

Department of Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station (Dr Blake); and Department of Environmental and Occupational Health (Dr Benden) and Center for Community Health Development (Dr Wendel), Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, College Station.

Correspondence: Jamilia J. Blake, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, 704 Harrington Tower, MS 4225, College Station, TX 77843 (

This study was supported in part by Cooperative Agreement Number 1U48DP001924 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The authors thank the United Way of the Brazos Valley, Artco-Bell Industries, and the College Station Independent School District for their generous support of this pilot study.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.