Up for Brains! – evaluating the effect of standing desks in the classroom on adolescents’ cognitive function.

01 January 2019 → 31 December 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Health promotion and policy
standing desks
Project description

High levels of sedentary time are related to negative health outcomes. As sedentary time is already
highly prevalent in adolescence, effective strategies are needed to tackle this health problem.
Adolescents spend the majority of the day in a classroom while sitting at a desk, suggesting the
classroom is an important setting for implementing specific strategies to reduce sedentary time.
One of the strategies that gained more attention during the past years is replacing traditional desks
and chairs with standing desks. The evaluation of the effectiveness of those desk replacements on
adolescents’ sedentary time, making use of objective instruments, is needed. Further, to widely
encourage the implementation of standing desks into classrooms, it is crucial to determine if it
provides cognitive function benefits.
This project will evaluate the implementation of standing desks in secondary schools via a clustered
randomized controlled trial using an intervention and control condition. We will investigate the
effects on adolescents’ cognitive function (i.e. memory, executive function and attention) and
objectively measured sitting and standing time. To achieve an effect, it is important that adolescents
spend a sufficient amount of time at the desk. Therefore, half of the traditional desks will be
replaced by standing desks.