Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Prapavessis, Harry


Students almost exclusively sit in class, which translates to large amounts of forced sedentary behaviour and this in turn may have negative health consequences. The effect alternative postures have on classroom performance of university students remains unknown.

Using a randomized counterbalanced design, pilot study 1 (N=40) and 2 (N=20) investigated the effect of alternative postures on 3-minute and 50-minute classroom performance, respectively. In study 3, university students’ (N=1005) and faculty (N=218) acceptability to alternative workstations in the university classroom was assessed using a mixed method approach.

This thesis provides preliminary evidence that there is no difference between classic sitting, dynamic sitting, and standing desks on classroom performance of university students. Further, implementation of alternative workstations is supported by students and to a lesser extent faculty.

Hence, at this early stage of inquiry there is no evidence to recommend against providing dynamic sitting, sit-stand and standing options in university classrooms.