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J Public Health (Oxf). 2016 Sep;38(3):526-533. Epub 2015 Jun 14.

Reducing children's classroom sitting time using sit-to-stand desks: findings from pilot studies in UK and Australian primary schools.

Author information

1
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity, Biomedical Research Unit, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK.
2
Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, Bradford BD9 6RJ, UK.
3
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, Bradford BD9 6RJ, UK.
4
Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne 3125, Australia.
5
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK.
6
Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne 3125, Australia Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne 3004, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This research examined the influence of sit-to-stand desks on classroom sitting time in primary school children.

METHODS:

Pilot controlled trials with similar intervention strategies were conducted in primary schools in Melbourne, Australia, and Bradford, UK. Sit-to-stand desks replaced all standard desks in the Australian intervention classroom. Six sit-to-stand desks replaced a bank of standard desks in the UK intervention classroom. Children were exposed to the sit-to-stand desks for 9-10 weeks. Control classrooms retained their normal seated desks. Classroom sitting time was measured at baseline and follow-up using the activPAL3 inclinometer.

RESULTS:

Thirty UK and 44 Australian children provided valid activPAL data at baseline and follow-up. The proportion of time spent sitting in class decreased significantly at follow-up in both intervention groups (UK: -9.8 ± 16.5% [-52.4 ± 66.6 min/day]; Australian: -9.4 ± 10% [-43.7 ± 29.9 min/day]). No significant changes in classroom sitting time were observed in the UK control group, while a significant reduction was observed in the Australian control group (-5.9 ± 11.7% [-28.2 ± 28.3 min/day]).

CONCLUSIONS:

Irrespective of implementation, incorporating sit-to-stand desks into classrooms appears to be an effective way of reducing classroom sitting in this diverse sample of children. Longer term efficacy trials are needed to determine effects on children's health and learning.

KEYWORDS:

activPAL; ethnic diversity; health; pilot controlled trial; sedentary behaviour; socioeconomic status

PMID:
26076699
PMCID:
PMC5942832
DOI:
10.1093/pubmed/fdv084
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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