- An emerging field of research indicates that physical activity can benefit cognitive functions and academic achievements in children (Beck, et al.).
- A single acute bout of moderate aerobic exercise improves cognitive performance (Drollette, et al.).
- Using FitDesks while completing various tasks results in an increase level of positive affect and does not negatively affect complex cognitive performance (Pilcher & Baker).
- Level of intrinsic motivation is positively related to physical activity (Aung, et al.).
The purpose of this study was to determine if riding a FitDesk while studying had an effect on academic performance.
- 61 Clemson University students (33 males, 28 females) with a mean age of (19.21± 1.68 years).
- Participants studied at assigned desk for a minimum of 2 hours per week on at least 2 separate days for 8 weeks.
- Sign in and out of the library study room using QR codes.
- Each student completed a pre-survey and post-survey which were composed of various scales regarding mental health, happiness, sleep quality, motivation, and physical activity.
- Researchers had access to each participants' five introductory psychology exam scores from the semester.
- Academic performance was assessed using the exam scores. We also assessed the participants' mental health using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress scale found in the pre- and post-surveys.
- Exam scores for the participants using the FitDesks significantly improved from exam one to exam five.
- Exam scores for the participants using the traditional desks remained constant from exam one to exam five.
- More than half of the FitDesk participants rated the FitDesks above average for using them as an incentive to go to the library more often and enjoyment.
- Individuals on the FitDesks did not have a significant change in depression, anxiety, or stress compared to those on the traditional desks.
- Future studies should increase hours required to study and if substantiated, these academic performance results could have a positive impact in classrooms everywhere!