Sitting down for prolonged periods may be bad for our health and this issue applies to both the classroom and the workplace environment.

On school days, some children can end up sitting for more than 10 hours a day. To attempt to reduce the proportion of time spent sitting in school, two pilot trials with similar intervention strategies were conducted in primary schools in Melbourne, Australia and Bradford, UK

Sit-to-stand desks replaced all standard desks in the Australian intervention classroom. Six sit-to-stand desks replaced a bank of standard desks in the UK intervention classroom. Control classrooms retained their normal seated desks.

Classroom sitting time was objectively measured at the baseline and follow-up using a physical activity monitoring device

The study found that the proportion of time spent sitting was reduced by approximately 10% in both the UK and Australian classrooms.

Following the success of this initial work we have recently been awarded funding from the National Institute for Health Research to conduct a longer-term randomised controlled trial to investigate the impact of this intervention across multiple schools in the Bradford area.

Institutions / organisations and researchers

Loughborough University

Bradford Institute for Health Research

  • Dr Sally Barber

Deakin University (Australia)

  • Dr Nicola Ridgers
  • Dr Elly Fletcher
  • Dr Jo Salmon
  • Professor David Dunstan