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Effect and process evaluation of implementing standing desks in primary and secondary schools in Belgium: a cluster-randomised controlled trial

Verloigne, Maïté, Ridgers, Nicola D, De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse and Cardon, Greet 2018, Effect and process evaluation of implementing standing desks in primary and secondary schools in Belgium: a cluster-randomised controlled trial, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 15, pp. 1-17, doi: 10.1186/s12966-018-0726-9.

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Title Effect and process evaluation of implementing standing desks in primary and secondary schools in Belgium: a cluster-randomised controlled trial
Author(s) Verloigne, Maïté
Ridgers, Nicola DORCID iD for Ridgers, Nicola D orcid.org/0000-0001-5713-3515
De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse
Cardon, Greet
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 15
Article ID 94
Start page 1
End page 17
Total pages 17
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2018-09-27
ISSN 1479-5868
1479-5868
Keyword(s) sedentary
sitting
bouts
intervention
classroom
ActivPAL
focus group
questionnaire
children
adolescents
science & technology
life sciences & biomedicine
nutrition & dietetics
physiology
Summary BACKGROUND: Children and adolescents spend a lot of time sitting at school. Implementing standing desks in the classroom is one potential strategy to reduce and break up sitting time. The first aim was to evaluate the effect of implementing standing desks in classrooms in primary and secondary schools on pupils' sitting-related behaviour and determinants. The second aim was to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the process of implementing the desks in the classroom.

METHODS: We conducted a cluster-randomised controlled trial with a pre-, mid-, and post-test design including 10 intervention schools (5 primary, 5 secondary schools) and 9 control schools (5 primary, 4 secondary schools) across Flanders, Belgium. Three standing desks were placed in one class in each intervention school for 6 months. At pre-, mid- and post-test, all pupils (n = 311; 54.5% girls) completed a questionnaire whilst a subsample of three pupils per class wore an activPAL inclinometer for one school week. Focus groups with pupils and interviews with teachers were conducted at mid-test. Process evaluation questions were added to the mid- and post-test questionnaire for the intervention group. Qualitative data were analysed using NVivo 11. Multilevel regression analyses were conducted in MLwiN 2.31.

RESULTS: Few significant intervention effects were observed, although activPAL data showed favourable intervention effects on primary school pupils' sitting and standing time and bouts. Focus groups and interviews showed a generally positive attitude towards using standing desks in both teachers and pupils, although some barriers and suggestions for future implementation were noted, for example regarding the amount of desks per classroom. Quantitative process evaluation data showed a low individual use of standing desks (between 57 and 83 min per week), which significantly decreased across the school year for primary school pupils only.

CONCLUSIONS: Although pupils and teachers were generally positive about the desks, relatively few intervention effects were found. Future studies should consider how to optimise the use of standing desks in classrooms to impact on sitting time, by for example, determining the most feasible intervention design and by encouraging the continued use of standing desks throughout the school year. Moreover, additional intervention strategies (e.g. educational strategies) might be needed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12966-018-0726-9
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
11 Medical And Health Sciences
13 Education
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Grant ID Award ID 101895
Copyright notice ©2018, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30113958

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.