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Tuesday, 30 September 2014 14:12

Stand-biased desks: A possible way of combating childhood obesity

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That physical activity helps reduce weight and maintain health is known to everybody. Doing exercise is generally considered to be a rather 'formal' that you achieve by running on a jogging track or to going to a gym for treadmill. Although exercising in a formal way is the most desirable way of doing it and it is best to include exercise as a priority item in your daily schedule, you can still manage to keep yourself active even when you are at work.

You can achieve this by doing small movements like walking through the corridor to reach up to a college rather than calling him on phone or keep strolling in your room instead of sitting when you are just attending a business call and not doing anything actively. These small bits of activity bring about significant cumulative effect if you make them your routine.

This was about the work places but let's today tell you something about the schools; our overweight kids can get rid of their extra weight by yet another way, and that even without moving!

Childhood obesity is a public health concern with significant health and economic impacts. We conducted a prospective experimental study in 4 classrooms in central Texas to determine the effect of desks that encourage standing rather than sitting on caloric expenditure in children. Students were monitored with calorie expenditure–measuring arm-bands worn for 10 days in the fall and spring. The treatment group experienced significant increases in calorie expenditure over the control group, a finding that has implications for policy and practice.
About 30% of children in the US being declared overweight or obese, childhood obesity is a major concern among health care providers and they keep striving trying to find out ways how to contain the obesity epidemic.

In a recent study, stand-biased desks were introduced in elementary classrooms to evaluate their effect on children affected by obesity. Stand-biased desks are passive, low-risk classroom interventions that allow students to sit or stand at will during class time. About 500 elementary students who participated in the study were divided into two groups: control or seated students and those using stand-based desks. A monitoring device was worn to measure children's step count and energy expenditure. Participant students were asked to wear the device for five consecutive school days, and each classroom was measured for one week in both the fall and spring semesters. At the end of the study, it was noted that students at stand-biased desks burned 15 percent more calories during the study period than students using traditional desks, and it was also noted that the energy use of the overweight children who used standing desks was higher by 25 percent.

Encouraged, researchers are looking at stand-biased desks as a possible way of combating childhood obesity and using similar innovations for other overweight groups too.

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