Using sit-stand desks to reduce children’s sitting time

The Healthy Children Healthy Families theme of NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber are working with two schools in Bradford to change the classroom environment to reduce the time children spend sitting at school.  Establishing these healthy lifestyle habits early in life increases the likelihood of children being active and conferring health benefits such as reduced risk of obesity, heart disease and type II diabetes in adulthood.The’stand out in class’ intervention aims to reduce children’s sitting time via the instillation of sit-stand,  height adjustable desks in the classroom.  In the first feasiblity study a bank of six desks were installed in classrooms.  

The study was the first of its kind in Europe and found promising results with children’s sitting time reduced by 81 minutes per day.  These results have been published along side results from a similar study conducted by international colleagues in Australia in the Journal of Public Health.  

Following the success of the first study, the height-adjustable desk manufacturers Ergotron, re-designed the desks making them smaller so that every child could have their own sit-stand desk, the feasibility of this whole class approach is currently being trailed. The project has recently been featured on local news.


Photo: Pupils can choose to sit or stand whilst working in class.