Development of a Stand-Biased School Desk to Reduce Childhood Obesity

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43DP003339-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43DP003339
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: NCCDPHP
Solicitation Number: PA11-096
Small Business Information
DUNS: 848992637
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (979) 571-5158
Business Contact
Phone: (979) 571-5158
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): According to the state demographer for Texas (Eschbach and 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 orincreasing 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/sit desks allow students to stand or sit at their discretion, without being disruptive or conspicuous among their classmates. The dynamic classroom study seeks to achieve four specific aims: AIM 1: To determine the best design features of stand-biased workstations for primary and secondary students with respect to comfort, posture, anthropometry based adjustability and calorie expenditure. AIM 2: To measure the degree to which stand/sit workstations increase calorie burn in students using our second and third generation stand-biased workstations under controlled laboratory conditions while performing simulated school tasks. The study seeks to examine health and academic outcomes in order to present comprehensive information to PositiveMotion LLC regarding their unique designs for stand-baised 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. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The overall research goal for this application 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 targeting childhood obesity, while simultaneously improving educational outcomes for youth.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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