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Wid Alshaikh, an eighth-grade student at the London Islamic School in Ontario, Canada, has a history of science fair success. She earned second place in sixth grade for a project on the effectiveness of wipes on bacteria, and then she won first-place accolades as a seventh grader when she analyzed the impact of playing basketball and succeeding academically.

In 2017, she added two more awards to her collection for her report, “Sitting or Standing, Does It Even Matter?” featuring Ergotron’s LearnFit® sit-stand desks. In her study, she analyzed the impact of standing on students’ math test scores while also taking into account gender and grade.

Wid contacted Ergotron originally to see about the possibility of using a LearnFit desk in her project and we were happy to support a budding researcher. Through her initial research, Wid learned that sitting has many disadvantages, including a lower metabolism and a higher risk for obesity and diabetes. She also found that people burn more calories by standing versus sitting. Using this information, Wid hypothesized that completing math problems while standing at a LearnFit desk would positively impact math performance for all participants, and her results supported her initial theory.

Using different five-minute math tests while sitting and standing, she found that out of the 113 participants ranging in age from 9 to 14, most of the students showed an increase in their math score while standing. Other results showed:

  • The youngest grade included in this study (grade 4) had the lowest percentage in increase performance in math while standing (37%). For the older grades, the percentage of students who increased while standing was higher (60%).
  • Regardless of the percentage in each category, the students that showed an increase in their performance while standing increased by more than when students decreased.
  • The overall number of students that were not affected by standing in the study was very small (7%).

Through her efforts, Wid won first-place at her school-wide competition and a gold medal at the city-wide science fair. Beyond this recognition, she’s proud to have added to the research that supports a change to a sit-stand culture in the classroom, and she looks forward to seeing future research on the long-term effects of standing on student performance. We applaud her for her thorough approach, sound theory, and excellent report out on her results. It is noteworthy and in keeping with larger research initiatives occurring around the world. Well done, Wid!


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