Research Output
Teachers’ and young adolescents’ qualitative opinions of an eight-week, feasibility/pilot, sit-stand desk intervention
  Aim: Nine sit-stand desks were installed in an Edinburgh Primary 7 class to determine the feasibility of their use and the effects on sedentary, activity, learning outcome variables. This abstract details the qualitative aspect of this study to discover how the sit-stand desks were tolerated.
Methods: After the feasibility/pilot study, individual interviews were held with the class and student teacher, and the classroom assistant (n = 3). Eight out of twenty pupils (all provided parental consent), participated in two focus groups (pupils selected by the teacher), one high-use group (n = 4), and one low-use group (n = 4).
Results: Overall, the staff were very supportive of the desks reporting that they contributed positively allowing pupils to be physical without being disruptive. Over the eight weeks, less disruption, more confidence and autonomy, as well as positive pupil behaviours were apparent. For example, confidence to move from their seated desks to sit-stand desks, improved cooperation with classmates, use of the sit-stand desks when low in energy, and improved engagement with class work, were all observed whilst pupils used the sit-stand desks. The desks also provided teachers with the opportunity to reorganise the learning space to support pupils with needs. Nothing negative was reported, although staff felt that prior to using the desks children should be encouraged to develop a rationale for doing so. All pupils reported being able to concentrate more when they used the sit-stand desks, with one pupil reporting ‘being able to ignore the laziness’. All pupils enjoyed being allowed to move more, as well as having more personal space, the changeable desk height, and more leg freedom. The high-use group reported better sleep, higher energy levels, improved daily mile achievement as well as improvements in extra-curricular activities. One pupil reported less need for her asthma inhaler, and another pupil with fallen arches reported that using the sit-stand desks helped her feel less pain.
Conclusions: The eight-week intervention was well tolerated by all teachers and pupils with positive suggestions for improved use in future interventions.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    23 November 2017

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    613 Personal health & safety

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Pitkethly, A., Campbell, A., Sproule, J., Booth, J., Fawkner, S., & Hutson, D. (2017, November). Teachers’ and young adolescents’ qualitative opinions of an eight-week, feasibility/pilot, sit-stand desk intervention. Poster presented at Scottish Physical Activity Research Connections 2017



Physical activity, standing desks, sedentary.

Monthly Views:

Available Documents