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Children Could Benefit From Standing Desks in Classrooms

Research shows significant increase in proportion of time children spend standing each school day

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FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Standing desks in the classroom may benefit students, according to a review published online Jan. 22 in Pediatrics.

Karl Minges, M.P.H., a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Nursing in Orange, Conn., and colleagues reviewed eight international studies. The studies included schoolchildren aged 5 to 18. Desk designs included both adjustable sit-to-stand desks, which permitted the use of a stool, and standing desks, which didn't have a stool.

While the eight study designs varied greatly, half showed that sitting time among students using the standing desks decreased about one hour each day. Two studies showed a significant increase -- up to 30.6 percent -- in the proportion of time children spent standing each school day. Other results indicated children using standing desks logged more than one hour a day less of television viewing and computer use, reported far more time spent "walking around," and had more frequent bouts of activity compared to children using traditional desks.

"One study said that more than 32 additional calories per hour were burned [using standing desks], which would be the equivalent of 225 additional calories per school day, similar to [total calories burned while] roller skating or skateboarding after school," Minges told HealthDay.

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