Can Standing Desks Help Students Learn Better?

With the rise in the use of standing desks and active workplaces, we’ve made some big strides toward prioritizing employee health and productivity in the modern workplace. As research repeatedly supports the benefits of reducing sedentary time in the workplace, people have begun to explore how we can make changes to improve learning in schools. For students, a new study finds, using a standing desk may improve cognitive function.

The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, set out to set the groundwork for similar research by determining the neurocognitive benefits of using a standing desk. The study’s lead author, Texas A&M’s Ranjana Mehta, PhD, found that “continued utilization of the stand-biased desks was associated with significant improvements in executive function and working memory capabilities.”

While the physiological benefits of standing desks —such as increased energy expenditure and blood flow—are well-established, this study marks the first time the use of standing desk has been linked to a boost in cognitive function. These findings, while preliminary, could spell a future for movement-based classrooms.