Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Standing desks could be the answer to reducing childhood obesity, keeping kids more active

Childhood obesity could be drastically reduced by replacing traditional school desks with standing ones, forcing students to spend more time on their feet, says a study conducted in Britain and Australia, Ariana Eunjung Cha reports for The Washington Post. Obesity has become an epidemic in the U.S., where at least 30 percent of adults in 18 states are obese, mostly in the South. (Ergotron photo: A standing desk)

School-age children typically spend 65 to 70 percent of their time sitting, Cha writes. Researchers found that students who used standing desks in Britain reduced their sitting time by 9.8 percent—or 66.6 minutes per day—and students in Australia reduced their sitting time by 10 percent—or 29.9 minutes per day. Being more active "could help them lose weight, improve their cardiovascular health, reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and see other physical and psychological benefits."

Other studies back up the new study, including a 2014 study and a 2011 study, both conducted in Texas, which found that students using standing desks expended more energy, increased their steps and burned more calories, Cha writes. Parents and teachers in Marin County, Calif., where schools have experimented with standing desks, said students, parents and teachers like using them and consider them the wave of the future.

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