Specially designed ‘standing desks’ may help in tackling childhood obesity


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HEALTHIER: It is hoped that children’s health will improve with the new desk design

HEALTHIER: It is hoped that children’s health will improve with the new desk design

Bradford school children are the first to test out innovate design

Sitting down for prolonged periods is never good for your health - causing higher blood pressure, obesity and reduced fitness - but in the workplace and in classrooms it has become the norm.

Children at Byron Primary School in Bradford will be the first in the country to test out an innovative new desk that may help them to become more active.

The specialist child-size, ergonomic sit-to-stand desks that have been designed by a company called Ergotron have arrived at the school courtesy of Born in Bradford (BiB).

BiB is one of the largest and most important medical research studies undertaken in the UK, and was launched over a decade ago.

The researchers are seeking to answer questions about the city's health by tracking the lives of around 14,000 babies and their families across the Bradford district.

BiB's lead researcher, Dr Sally Barber said: “An urgent cultural shift is needed, and we feel that the only way to do this is to target this generation, particularly while they are still at school. If we can bring about a behaviour change, learnt from a young age, then this should continue into adulthood and improve people's overall quality and health.”

The first findings showed that pupils were sitting for just under 10 hours a day, which is the equivalent to 70 per-cent of their total waking hours.

Head Teacher at Bryon Primary, Richard O’Sullivan said: “We are always looking into ways of helping children full-stop. Whether it is about developing their fitness or helping them learn...it is a very worthwhile thing to find out about."

Mr O'Sullivan believes it will also bring great benefits for the children. "There are lots of ways it benefits the children. The fact they are taking part in something is really important. They realise they are also helping people to learn and find out beyond school, but also the fact that it is making them aware of their own health, how active they are, how are they moving around, all that sort of thing because they have to monitor that as part of it, getting them to reflect on their fitness and health levels."

It is expected it will take a year before the research can be analysed. Initial findings have been published in the Journal of Public Health and are also available on the BiB website borninbradford.nhs.uk.

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