The Use of Standing Desks to Address On-Task Behavior in Elementary Students

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Using standing desks to reduce sedentary behavior has emerged in the literature of instruction and learning. However, the impact that these desks have on self-regulation of on-task behavior has yet to be determined. This study examined the impact that standing desks had on student behavior in a group (n = 40) of fourth grade students. Using the Behavioral Observations of Students in Schools (BOSS) instrument, on-task behavior was observed for a total of six weeks, including three-weeks while using traditional school desks (baseline) and three-weeks while using standing desks (intervention). Furthermore, students using traditional desks were also observed for the entire six-weeks to serve as a control group. The author found that students who used standing desks showed significant increases (t = 7.2, p = .000) in on-task behavior when compared to when they used traditional desks. Furthermore, students who used standing desks also had significantly higher on-task behavior (t = 2.16, p = .037) when compared to the control group of students who used traditional desks. These results demonstrate that replacing traditional desks with standing desks can have a positive impact on self-regulating student behavior during class instruction.