Researchers call for schools to install standing desks as study finds they burn far more calories

The Mail is reporting claims from researchers in the United States that getting rid of the traditional school desk could be the key to beating the country’s obesity epidemic…

They called for schools to replace desks with standing versions after finding that obese pupils made to use them burnt 25 per cent more calories.

The researchers tested the desks on 500 schoolchildren in Texas…

‘With these standing workstations, children have the opportunity to increase physical activity and caloric expenditure, as well as to relieve stress on spinal structures that may occur with traditional desks,’ the team say.

Mark Benden,of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, recently conducted a study in which stand-biased desks were introduced in elementary classrooms in an effort to combat childhood obesity.

Approximately 500 elementary students in the College Station Independent School District participated in either control (seated) or stand-biased desk classrooms.

The researchers used Sensewear devices to measure children’s step count and energy expenditure…

The findings from the study indicate that the implementation of stand-biased desks had a statistically significant and positive impact on the amount of calories burned.

‘The students at stand-biased desks burned 15 percent more calories during the study period than students at traditional desks, and obese children at standing desks increased their calorie use by 25 percent,’ Benden said.

‘Teachers also reported that students at stand-biased desks had an increased level of engagement during lecture time.’

Benden added that the stools that pair with the desks are better for students’ posture and blood flow as opposed to traditional plastic chairs, and the desks even eased back pain in teachers since they were not forced to bend over to help students…

More at: Should the schooldesk be BANNED across America to beat obesity? Researchers call for schools to install…


Interesting idea – what do you reckon to teaching a class at standing desks? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. BarryTuckwood

    Did anyone consider also measuring the school’s primary purpose while performing this test – how does standing affect the student’s attention and education?

  2. neil_play

    SchoolsImprove For ‘Researchers’ think ‘clutchers at straws’ as these people clearly don’t have a clue! They shld contact OPALOutdoorplay

  3. chemtabulous

    SchoolsImprove I’m all for the standing desk but apparently the lying-down desk coupled with tablet devices improves behaviour.

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