As impact oriented people, we started a collaboration with our local university from our company’s conception. Our question: do standing desks really have a positive impact on our children’s health and classroom environment?
It just made sense to research this subject. We are convincing people to stand more, but too often these people already suffer from symptoms of the sitting disease. That’s why we thought of schools and children, because a long and healthy life starts with good habits. In this case: sitting less and moving more.
The people at the University of Ghent found this question something worth investigating.
The deal was simple. We offered 30 standing desks at a reduced price in exchange for an honest review of our question. They recruited seven different students for an extensive experiment.
A year and a half later the results are starting to come in. The students just defended their thesis from which the first conclusions can be drawn.
It is always hard to summarise the results of such an extensive work into a few sentences. But, to give interested people a sneak peak into some of the most important findings we’ll provide you with some of the highlights:
- Transitions from sitting to standing and vice versa, which is one of the important factors when it comes to the risks of sitting, increased significantly when standing desks were present in the classroom
- Percentage of time spend standing increased dramatically. This is a logical consequence but it points towards a very important point that both kids and teachers are open to using standing desks and also succeed in effectively implementing them into the classroom
- Nearly 70% of the kids responded very positively to the question: do you like to be taught while standing?
- 90% of teachers thought it was a good idea to teach children while some of them are standing upright.
- Both teachers and children favour a system in which 4 to 5 standing desks are implemented in a classroom. Children can then alternate from one hour to the other. This brings in a healthy dynamic and breaks the periods of high concentration.
- Implementation is key and remains rather difficult. It is really important that enough information is given to both the teacher and the pupils to make sure the desks are used properly.
The research will continue as not all the results are processed yet. We’ll make sure to add updates!
Of course we would also like to thank the students, the post doc researchers and the professors involved. It has been a very interesting and fruitful collaboration! We’ve also made it possible for the thesis’s to be downloaded here, so if you are really interested please have a look at them! If questions would arise while taking a look at them, drop us a line!