Student Perception on Acceptability and Usefulness of Sit-Stand Desks in College Classrooms

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Arijit SenguptaAbiola Kuilan

Abstract: College students are prone to a sedentary lifestyle while trying to balance daily challenges and school workload. Sedentariness is associated with increased risk of chronic diseases – obesity, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and even cognitive performance. Given that a full-time college student in the US spends more than 15 hours per week sitting in a college classroom, it may be an ideal setting for implementation of Sit-Stand Desk (SSD) to reduce college students’ sedentary time. Graduate and undergraduate students (N = 178) of New Jersey Institute of Technology were randomly recruited to complete an online assessment survey. Participants' mean(standard deviation) age was 22.4(4.7) years old, 63% identified as male, 33% identified as female while 4% were of the other gender class. Among the participants, 44.3% students self-reported to be overweight or obese according to their BMI (>25 kg/m2), 76% students led an inactive/sedentary lifestyle, and 63.5% students did not meet physical activity guidelines. Students’ perceived acceptability of SSD in the classroom was strongly favorable. If SSD were made available in a class that students are currently taking, only about 11% participants preferred not to stand at all during the class time, and 89% students preferred to stand for at least 10% of class time. Most of the students (85% - 99%) predicted either no change or positive change (get better) in all academic factors (focus, restlessness, attention, engagement and boredom) and health factors (physical health, fatigue and back pain), if SSD in introduced in the classroom. Collectively, the findings of this study strongly support students’ acceptability of introducing standing desks in college classrooms. Results of this study should be useful for policy makers regarding classroom designs. Future studies are needed to test the viability and efficacy of introducing sit-stand desks in college classrooms.

Keywords: sedentariness, college students, sit, stand desk

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003961

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