Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/13/2018

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Health and Sport Studies

First Advisor

Lucas J. Carr

First Committee Member

Kathleen F Janz

Second Committee Member

Barbara Baquero


Sedentary behavior has been found to have independent and negative associations with several cardiometabolic risk factors while interrupting prolonged sedentary time may ameliorate these associations. College classrooms are a traditionally sedentary microenvironment and understudied setting for sedentary interventions. Introducing sit-stand desks into college classrooms may be an effective and sustainable approach to reduce classroom sedentary time of college students. The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of replacing seated desks with sit-stand desks in a college classroom on student’s classroom standing time and sit-stand transitions, as well as health-related and academic behaviors.

We recruited 304 undergraduate college students taking one of 14 classes being taught in one of two small classrooms (25 seats per class) to participate. Using a cross-over design, each student’s classroom sitting and standing time were measured by self-report and objectively (direct observation via video camera surveillance) after having access to only seated desks or only sit-stand desks for six continuous weeks. A process evaluation survey was administered at the end of the study to explore student’s and instructor’s perceptions of the intervention and its impact on student engagement.

The results suggest that students stood about 9.1% of class time on average when given access to sit-stand desks and about 1.95% of class time when using traditional seated desks, as measured by objective video surveillance data. There was no significant change in sit-stand transitions between sit-stand desks and seated desks. Students reported that a number of academic and health outcomes were favorably impacted as a result of using the sit-stand desks. Social acceptability appeared to be the biggest barrier to use of the sit-stand desks. Overall, students reported a desire to use sit-stand desks again in future classes.

Students stood significantly more when provided access to sit-stand desks compared to seated desks. Sit-stand transitions were not significantly increased when sit-stand desks were implemented. Significantly more students reported improvements in academic and health related outcomes than students who reported declines in these areas as a result of using sit-stand desks. A majority of students reported they would use sit-stand desk again in the future and be supportive of adding sit-stand desks to other classrooms on campus. Sit-stand desks are a feasible environmental change in a college classroom to reduce student sedentary time.


viii, 49 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 45-49).


Copyright © 2017 Matthew Jerome