Standing Desks May Be Good for Your Mind, Too

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Standing desks may be good for more than just your waistline and physiological health. A recent study of high school freshmen with standing desks indicates that opting for an upright position might have cognitive benefits, too.

In a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers at Texas A&M report that standing desks can improve executive function and working memory. A total of 34 high school freshmen underwent neurocognitive testing at the beginning and end of the school year. Their classrooms were equipped with stand-biased desks (meaning they could sit on a stool if they needed to, but standing was the default). After a year of using a standing desk, these students showed improvements in memory and executive functions such as abstract reasoning skills. 

This study is too small to make any certain claims about how standing desks can change your brain, but it’s not the only study in favor of standing desks in school. A 2015 study found that elementary school kids were more engaged and less likely to disrupt class when they were given the option to stand at their desks. So even if standing desks make people more sedentary after they return home for the night, as previous research has suggested, they still likely have some significant benefits over just sitting all day.