According to the state demographer for Texas (Eschbach &Fonseca, 2009), childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 20 years, and overweight/obesity rates for Texas fourth graders are twice the national average for fourth grade students. In addition, obesity rates for Latino and African American children in Texas are among the highest in the nation. This is problematic because 70 percent of overweight and obese youth become overweight and obese adults, which significantly increases the risk other chronic diseases. In Brazos County, Texas, a group of local stakeholders have identified and prioritized childhood obesity as a key community issue. These stakeholders have been loosely networked, and the current project will strengthen that network to build on resources and capacities to engage in policy-relevant childhood obesity research. Most school-based childhood obesity interventions target some aspect of energy balance-either reducing the calories consumed or increasing physical activity. The gap in those programs has been affecting physical activity during the entire school day, not just during physical education or recess time. Dynamic classrooms-using stand/sit workstations for students-are a relatively low-cost, low-effort method of passively increasing children's physical activity during instructional time, as standing burns up to 30 percent more calories than sitting in children at this age. The stand-biased desks allow students to stand or sit at their discretion, without being disruptive or conspicuous among their classmates. The study seeks to examine health and academic outcomes in order to present comprehensive information to PositiveMotion LLC regarding their unique designs for stand-based work stations. Relevant to CDC's mission, this research has the potential to produce commercial products that could be produced domestically to reach the vast majority of children through the public school system, enhancing their ability to stay healthy and be successful in their education and increasing their chances of a full and productive life.
The overall research goal for this proposal is to evaluate the safety and acceptability of our unique U.S. Patent Pending design for a stand-biased desk for students, teachers and administrators. School-based obesity interventions that align with schools'academic goals to improve academic achievement are more likely to be implemented and have higher rates of success and sustainability. Dynamic classrooms may provide one strategy for winning the battle with childhood obesity, while simultaneously improving educational outcomes.