Within-subjects analysis of the effects of a stand-biased classroom intervention on energy expenditure Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent approaches to combating the childhood obesity epidemic emphasize the health consequences of prolonged physical inactivity and sedentary behaviors that occur throughout the school day. The purpose of this study was to determine if Energy Expenditure (EE) is significantly increased in children who use standing height desks throughout the school day versus using traditional school desks. Nine children between the ages of 6 and 8 completed two consecutive five-month trials at a local elementary school. For the first trial, the participants' classroom (19 total children), used traditional sit-down desks for the duration of the fall semester. Over the holiday break, the entire classroom was converted to stand-biased desks. To measure differences in EE, each participant wore a BodyBugg activity monitor (BodyMedia, Inc) during the school day for one week in the fall and one week in the spring. Along with EE, the activity monitors also observed how many steps each participant took throughout the day. Descriptive statistics and a linear mixed effect model were used to determine EE differences within subjects between sitting and standing behaviors. Mean steps from the fall and spring semesters were also compared within subjects. The analysis indicated a statistically significant difference (P < .0001) in EE when the children used stand-biased desks versus traditional sitdown desks. 1997-2012 American Society of Exercise Physiologists.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Exercise Physiology Online

author list (cited authors)

  • Benden, M. E., Wendel, M. L., Jeffrey, C. E., Zhao, H., & Morales, M. L.

complete list of authors

  • Benden, ME||Wendel, ML||Jeffrey, CE||Zhao, H||Morales, ML

publication date

  • August 2012