4

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Students- do you stand or sit to study?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 15, 2011 at 2:14 PM

I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. I see quite a lot about standing desks in the workplace but for those of us who are still in university, do you try to stand when you study?

Personally I've always HATED to sit still (I'm one of those hyper fidgety people who probably annoys everyone else around them.) and I hate spending all day hunched in a chair in the library. So whenever I can I'll stand/pace when I'm reading, or I'll use my laptop standing up when I'm writing papers or whatever. My brothers actually do this too, though I'm pretty sure they aren't aware of paleo. Maybe it sounds silly but I'm trying to do everything I can not to be one of those students who pretty much ignores their health and becomes more and more sedentary over the course of their education...already I see my peers complaining about their back pain from sitting all day to cram/study and I think that's just insane for 18/19 year olds. I realise that it's probably only because workload in undergrad is comparatively light that I can do this, but I hope I can keep it up. Having said that my major actually means I'll be doing more and more work outside which is awesome.

Of course sometimes I do have to sit, like if I'm reading a book that's on reserve I'm not going to pace around the middle of the library to read it. But I try to avoid it whenever possible. Anyone else?

Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on May 15, 2011
at 09:33 PM

Man... for some reason, I thought there wouldn't be any chronic-standers replying, and poor Olivia would be all alone. Turns out that everyone seems to stand when they study, except poor becker. Maybe I should give it a shot?

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on May 15, 2011
at 09:02 PM

I do this too! I do it with flashcards though, and thankfully my house is laid out so I get a nice circular walking path.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 15, 2011
at 04:24 PM

Sometimes I pace around my room if I just have to read texts/notes. But it's pretty hard to do math problem sets while walking in the woods!

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9 Answers

3
507a43b2a190776060b8b142b464e808

on May 15, 2011
at 04:20 PM

I never considered standing in-doors, it is just kind of annoying.

However, to put a different spin on things, have you considered studying while walking? The great polyglot Alexander Arguelles advocates doing one of his language learning techniques called "shadowing" whilst walking in the woods. You listen to a language tape on headphones while simultaneously reading an English translation from the book and repeating the foreign language words out loud -- walking with military posture. Of course, you do need a dependable even path without random sink holes or logs to trip on so that it will be safe to keep your eyes on the book.

I have spent at least 100 hours studying French in this manner, and I think the additional blood flow may contribute to more efficient learning. Better yet, it is pretty much utterly impossible to get off task because the steps keep your rhythm -- it feels as if you MUST stop walking if you want to daydream or muse about something off topic.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on May 15, 2011
at 09:02 PM

I do this too! I do it with flashcards though, and thankfully my house is laid out so I get a nice circular walking path.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 15, 2011
at 04:24 PM

Sometimes I pace around my room if I just have to read texts/notes. But it's pretty hard to do math problem sets while walking in the woods!

2
Medium avatar

(4878)

on May 15, 2011
at 05:15 PM

I recommend that my students take a 10 minute break every hour to get their heart rate up, flush out their system and re-oxygenate their brains. A static body is not functioning optimally. Whether it is a brisk walk around the block or some heavy lifting, it is the elevated heart rate for 10 minutes that really helps. There are a lot of great study tips in this text with many practical applications: Owners Manual for the Brain

2
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 15, 2011
at 03:40 PM

I'm a student as well, and I just finished building my new standing desk, which is tailor made for my height (see below).

I study in chunks that can last >10 hrs, and I have used the desk for two of these long study sessions. Great results so far: procrastination and time-wasting are way down, and, naturally, focus is up.

One challenge is that I have to constantly remind myself not to shift my weight to either side.

Unexpectedly, the desk encourages posting notes on the wall it faces, which surprised me bc I've never really taken that approach in my studies.

Here it is in all of the messy glory of my study:

students--do-you-stand-or-sit-to-study?

1
8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on May 15, 2011
at 08:02 PM

I do both! Standing for a few hours and sitting for some more. I have my laptop at my kitchen counter and stand mostly when I get tired I pull up the chair. It's good to do both for me.

1
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on May 15, 2011
at 06:50 PM

I'm not a student, but I tend to pace when I'm working out a thorny problem in my head. I also tutor a young girl who has a hard time sitting still, and I've found that if I have her stand or walk around the room while she recites things like spelling words, she learns them better.

1
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on May 15, 2011
at 06:14 PM

I'm not a student anymore but I went to NAVY bootcamp (failed out because of a medical issue) but it was SOOOOOOOOOO hot in the classrooms that they would suggest standing up in the back of the room if we were having a hard time staying awake. That stuck with me and when I went back to college I started standing up in the back of the lecture halls and class rooms. My professors never seemed to mind and I found I was MUCH more alert and I could fidget at will and my back never seemed to hurt since I wasn't sitting on those cruel metal desk chairs. I only had one professor bitch about it and I just told him I had a bad back and that it helped. He never asked for a note so I just went about my business. It's a great technique.

1
6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on May 15, 2011
at 05:25 PM

I study on a treadmill. I read years ago that learning is enhanced when both sides of the brain are engaged.

1
C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de

(1579)

on May 15, 2011
at 04:08 PM

I'm an undergrad too, and I try to stand as much as possible. The desk in my dorm last year had a shelf that was the perfect height to place my computer on so I could use it standing. I'm an art/bio double major, so I can do all my art standing up, but during finals season when I had a bunch of calculus and chem problem sets, I found it was easier to do those sitting down. When that happens, I just make sure to do a lot of walking around and make an effort to be a little more active, even though I know it doesn't negate the effects of all the sitting.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 15, 2011
at 02:28 PM

I have gotten into the habit of spending 1/2 the day standing and shifting my weight simultaneously. Previously I used to force myself to sit and was miserable much of the time. Now I feel energized and this through enhanced metabolic rate, circulation of the blood and increased electrical activity in the muscles and throughout the nervous system...all attributable to standing. See someone else's post on 'mobilizations'. Have you read up on the literature re: posture/enhancing alertness through movement and the relationship between posture and mood? If so give me a link si vous plait...

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