We’ve said it so many times, it’s a wonder that it bears any more repeating. Sitting for hours is bad for you. Everyone agrees that there are significant health challenges that arise from being inactive. Obesity, heart attacks, stroke, muscle loss, and circulation problems are just a few examples of what can occur to your body from lack of activity. Even the morning jogger or lunch break gym warrior is not exempt. Research has shown that 30-60 minutes daily is still not enough to correct or counteract the toll that prolonged sitting takes on the human body. This means that those hours you spend driving, working, studying, and watching your favorite shows do slowly degrade your health.
We all know someone who spends too much time in front of the tube watching movies or playing video games or someone who commutes 2+ hours each way. But what about a group that’s practically forced to sit for hours each day? Not only to listen to lectures, but to study and research.
Photo by Tripu
Using a stand up desk benefits everyone, but students would be ideal candidates. That’s because they’re typically tied to a desk.
A recent meta-analysis of several studies has demonstrated that by using standing desks in school, student inactivity could easily be reduced by over an hour each day.
This hour could be enough to reduce some of the well-documented issues that can be affecting students.
In a first of it’s kind study from last year, researchers examined the results of swapping standard desks for stand up desks in a high school class. After evaluating students twice throughout the school year using computerized tests and brain-imaging devices, they reported that the use of standing desks was associated with boosting working memory and executive function.
By definition, insomnia is defined as difficulty maintaining sleep at least 3 nights a week. Sufficient and restful sleep is a necessary for academic achievement. Insomnia, when prolonged, can interfere with a student’s daytime function, classroom concentration, and memory.
One of the most well-documented lifestyle risk factors that causes insomnia is a sedentary lifestyle. Overburdened students are already trading sleep for study time but prolonged sitting only makes matters worse.
Educators Looking Into Stand Up Desk Benefits
Today, educators everywhere are starting to embrace the idea behind the success of the standing desk: movement. Movement can actually enhance learning. A 2008 study revealed that kids with ADHD actually benefit from moving when focusing on a complicated mental task. The children fidgeted more when a task required their brains to calculate and process, like doing math or reading comprehension tasks. This explains why students seem more restless at these tasks compared to when they watch movies.
Allowing students to move and fidget helps burn calories. Students also feel more in control. They don’t have to feel confined to sitting perfectly still.
The ultimate message here is that standing desks benefit everyone, especially those who’s obligations require prolonged hours of sitting such as students. Students with standing desks remember more and are more engaged.