LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Take a stand for your health — literally.
Health experts have said sitting for excessively long periods of time can be detrimental to our overall health.
A sedentary lifestyle can do more than cause you to pack on pounds: it is also linked to chronic diseases and premature death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While some employers have incorporated standing desks and other adjustments to address the dangers of prolonged sitting, researchers say classrooms are still behind.
Angelia Leung, a dance professor at the University of California Los Angeles, tackled the issue in a joint study with public health professor Burt Cowgill.
The team’s research found that there still needs to be more education about the health risks associated with sitting for too long.
They also suggested a cultural shift involving changing classroom expectations.
The UCLA research found that more than 50 percent of students interviewed did not consider it socially acceptable to stand up and stretch during class.
“A cultural change has to take place — that it’s OK to take a stretch break, to stand up during a lecture, to fidget when needed — it’s ‘good’ for health’s sake,” Leung said in a statement. “My students have an advantage because dance classes naturally involve movement, but we can extend these benefits to any class on campus with something as simple as short stretching breaks — no dancing required.”
Some recommendations the study presented require professors and administrators to take action to get students moving more, including offering group breaks, planning activities that require students to switch desks, building more open classrooms, and adding adjustable desks in classrooms.
The study, “Get up, stand up, stand up for your health!” was published Feb. 6 in the Journal of American College Health.