Recent medical research has proven that prolonged sitting can be as detrimental to an adult’s health as smoking. It's been found that sitting for extended periods of time is a contributing factor in the development of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. In fact, a recent study at the Texas A&M Health Science Center concluded that students who used a standing desk became more attentive in class in contrast to those who merely sat. Regardless of whether you’re a student or a professional in an office setting, the benefits that standing desks can have for your productivity and health may surprise you.
The Texas A&M study examined 300 Texas schoolchildren over a 12-month period to compare behavior in classrooms between students who used standing desks and students who used regular desks. In the fall and spring, researchers designated an engagement figure for each student, which was calculated by finding an average for their number of on-task as well as off-task behaviors, during each classroom session. The study found that overweight students in particular benefited from standing desks. They were more focused during classroom sessions and burned up to 15 percent more calories during a single school week. Despite these results, most students lack access to standing workstations.
Cost serves as a primary barrier as standing desks can require a $500 investment for a single desk. Moreover, traditional desks and chairs in schools were actually designed more for the janitors benefit. They were designed so that janitors could stack them seamlessly, not for optimizing student performance.
Researchers believe that this is a potentially huge failing for the educational system, which will have repercussions down the line both in terms of academic achievement and the overall health of students. On the other hand, the benefits of standing workstations can translate beyond schools and into corporate work environments, as well. This is an environment where similar emphasis has been placed on control and maintenance instead of optimizing performance and the health of workers.
Given the findings of the Texas A&M study and the potential practical benefits of using standing desks in schools and work environments, experts believe that more studies will be done on the subject over time.
If you're ready to discover how standing desks can improve your concentration and productivity at work, browse our selection of desks now.