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The effects of standing desks within the school classroom: A systematic review

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posted on 2016-06-03, 10:47 authored by Aron Sherry, Natalie PearsonNatalie Pearson, Stacy ClemesStacy Clemes
© 2016 The Authors. Background: The school classroom environment often dictates that pupils sit for prolonged periods which may be detrimental for children's health. Replacing traditional school desks with standing desks may reduce sitting time and provide other benefits. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the impact of standing desks within the school classroom. Method: Studies published in English up to and including June 2015 were located from online databases and manual searches. Studies implementing standing desks within the school classroom, including children and/or adolescents (aged 5-18 years) which assessed the impact of the intervention using a comparison group or pre-post design were included. Results: Eleven studies were eligible for inclusion; all were set in primary/elementary schools, and most were conducted in the USA (n = 6). Most were non-randomised controlled trials (n = 7), with durations ranging from a single time point to five months. Energy expenditure (measured over 2 h during school day mornings) was the only outcome that consistently demonstrated positive results (three out of three studies). Evidence for the impact of standing desks on sitting, standing, and step counts was mixed. Evidence suggested that implementing standing desks in the classroom environment appears to be feasible, and not detrimental to learning. Conclusions: Interventions utilising standing desks in classrooms demonstrate positive effects in some key outcomes but the evidence lacks sufficient quality and depth to make strong conclusions. Future studies using randomised control trial designs with larger samples, longer durations, with sitting, standing time and academic achievement as primary outcomes, are warranted.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Preventive Medicine Reports




338 - 347


SHERRY, A.P., PEARSON, N. and CLEMES, S.A., 2016. The effects of standing desks within the school classroom: A systematic review. Preventive Medicine Reports, 3, pp. 338-347.


© The Authors. Published by Elsevier


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY-NC-ND). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/




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