Student mood and responses to standing desks in the college classroom
Keywords:desks, college, sitting, standing, mood
Physical activity enhances physical health, reduces disease, and resists metabolic syndrome and obesity, while sitting for extended periods of time has a negative effect on long term health outcomes. Thus, reducing sitting time has been identified as a health-enhancing goal. The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions and responses of college students to sitting versus standing in class. Five standing desks were placed in a classroom of traditional sitting desks. In a counterbalanced, within subjects design, 88 undergraduate students (age M=21.64, SD=6.55 years) participated in the study. Some participating students first stood at a desk for three consecutive class meetings and then sat for three classes while others sat for three consecutive classes and then stood for three. Surveys were administered at the beginning and end of each class and at the end of six consecutive class sessions. Results indicated that mood was signifi- cantly higher on standing than sitting days, the majority of participants had a favorable perception of the standing-in-class experience, and would use standing stations if the option was available. This study is one of few to examine the viability and response to adding standing desks in college classrooms, and indicates standing desks may be perceived favorably and could be utilized to reduce sitting time.
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