Class, take your seats! (Or don’t.)

Sister Gertrude Dolores, my uber-strict third grade teacher with a sit-in-your-seat-now! obsession, is no doubt spinning in heaven at this item: Desks that allow children to sit or stand are useful tools in fighting obesity.

This month’s American Journal of Public Health highlights a study of “sit-stand” desks in a Texas elementary school. Allowed to freely choose to stand or sit in class, the majority of the students (70%) soon chose to stand full time. The remaining 30% stood about three-quarters of the time.

The big news: the “standers” burned 17% more calories than a comparison classroom where the students sat in traditional desks. Even better, the overweight kids burned 32% more calories than the overweight kids in the standard sitting desks. Parents and teachers reported improved classroom behavior and performance in the standing students.

Main downside is cost: sit-stand desks are about 20% more expensive than standard desks. But I’d imagine that increased demand would help reduce costs.

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Filed under Obesity, School

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