As more and more evidence suggests that sitting all day is slowly killing both our bodies and our productivity, one group of students in Melbourne, Australia is standing up for a change. A sixth grade class at the Mont Albert Primary School has been using desks that can be adjusted to standing height as part of a social experiment, run by the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. We already know that changing your desk can change the work you do, but the goal of this study is to determine how being more active affects how students learn, along with their overall physical health.
The desks have already been in place for two months, and the students are already standing more. Next year, for eight months, each student will be fitted with a monitor and closely observed to determine when they’re active, and how standing more frequently affects their health and their learning process.
This research could eventually help minimize childhood obesity and even curb the high rates of adolescent ADHD diagnoses. “If we can ingrain good health behaviors in early age we know they track into adulthood,” saysProfessor David Dunstan, head of physical activity research at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.