Stand-up desks don’t only benefit you for physical reasons but have been proven to help brain function too!

A study, published recently in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found improvements in the basic cognitive skills of high school students after several months of using stand-up desks.

Researchers from theTexas A&M Health Science Center examined 34 students, aged 14 to 16, at two points during their first year of high school: once in the fall, just weeks after they enrolled in school, and again 27 to 34 weeks later.

During lunchtimes, the students were given computerized neuro-cognitive tests, which asked them to complete simple tasks, such as pushing a key when they saw a star and not pushing anything if they saw a circle. These tests measured their inhibition, reaction times and decision-making abilities.

The researchers also used a neuro-imaging tool, called functional near infrared spectroscopy, to examine frontal brain activation patterns in some of the students.

Between the two testing periods, during which students’ average sitting time declined to five hours from about six hours per day, the researchers found a 7-to-14 per cent improvement in the students’ executive function and working memory.

Executive function involves making decisions and organizing and analyzing thoughts, and working memory involves storing and retrieving information.


Article by Wency Leung

The Globe and Mail article