The goal with a standing desk is not standing. The goal is to create movement options. -Juliet Starrett

48: The Secret to Standing All Day (& Why Kids Should do it at School!) with founder of Juliet Starrett

 What are your feet doing RIGHT NOW? Are you standing on them?

If not…stand up and watch this!

I learned so much from Juliet Starrett, founder of one of first 50 CrossFit gyms in America who got passionate about kids’ mobility when she saw a HUGE problem at her daughter’s field day. She launched, a nonprofit dedicated to funding standing desks for schoolchildren, and she’s nearing 100,000 kids standing up all day!

Think that sounds crazy? Some parents in those schools do too, but you gotta hear why teachers <3 <3 <3 it and parents all come around eventually.

Juliet taught me how to use my standing desk much better than I was already, and we even talked food and kids and picky eaters (and our general intolerance for short order cooking).

Whether your kids are in school or at home all day, we challenge you to get them MOVING for their health!

Can’t see the video? Click to watch “The Secret to Standing All Day” on YouTube.

No time to watch the whole video? Here are the notes!

The Secret to Standing

  • 0:26: Today I’m talking to Juliet Starrett about her non-profit, Stand Up Kids, that has the mission of getting standing desks in schools.

Why should we stand more?

  • 1:22: Juliet shares how she got interested in standing desks and getting kids to use them in particular. She and her husband were early adopters into the standing desk phenomenon.

Start to reduce the amount of time you're sitting during the day. -Juliet Starrett

  • 3:28: Juliet and her husband began encouraging their adult patients to reduce their sitting time and increase their movement throughout the day. The average American sits for 15 hours a day!

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Are standing desks for kids too?

  • 4:24: After watching the kids at her daughter’s field day at school, Juliet realized that while they were advocating standing for adults, they were sending their kids to school where they sat at a desk all day.

The goal is more movement. -Juliet Starrett

  • 6:40: Juliet shares her own background story as an athlete with some health challenges in young adulthood. Her husband is a physical therapist and their backgrounds work really well together in their business.
  • 10:00: Juliet has co-authored a book called “Deskbound.” After seeing people buy into the standing desk philosophy, stand for a full work day or two and then give up because they were sore and in pain, Juliet and her co-authors wrote this book to help people learn to use their standing desk. You have to train your body before jumping right in. It’s also vitally important to set up your desk correctly.
  • 13:01: When you watch kids at standing desks they wiggle and move around intuitively. Standing creates a world of options to move throughout the day.
  • 14:29: I have a standing desk and I’m curious to read “Deskbound” now to see how I could better set up my desk. Juliet says it’s a good reference book for incorporating movement rather than a book you’d sit down to read cover-to-cover.

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Benefits of standing and movement for kids

  • 15:12: We don’t want kids to start their lives deskbound. Juliet shares the reactions they’ve gotten from students, teachers and parents as they’ve introduced standing desks into schools through Stand Up Kids.
  • 17:10: Teachers see a decrease in behavioral issues and an increase in engagement when their students are at standing desks.

The goal is to give kids options and agency. -Juliet Starrett

  • 20:44: There have been several studies done showing the benefits of kids using standing desks. Every now and then an article will circulate saying that standing is bad, or just as bad as sitting. It’s true that is can be: if you stand like a statue for 10 hours. Not moving is bad for you whether you’re in a sitting or standing position.
  • 22:35: Many people spend time driving everyday which must be done seated, sitting for meals is healthier, often at the end of the day we want to get off our feet to read a book or watch a show. For many people their time at work is the most convenient time to reduce the amount of time sitting during their day.

Kids should be getting so much movement every day that they literally fall into bed from exhaustion. -Juliet Starrett

  • 25:06: We talk about what we can do at home to facilitate movement in our families. If you’re a homeschool family listen up before setting up your classroom!

I'm a big proponent of shutting the door and making your kids play outside after school. -Juliet Starrett

  • 27:03: Figure out where you have optional sitting in your day. Driving a car or flying on an airplane is not optional sitting, but doing homework or writing an email could be. Replace these optional sitting times with other positions and movement.

What about positions other than standing?

  • 27:33: Sitting on the floor is better than siting in a chair or on the couch because it’s harder to slouch and you can vary your leg position more easily. In cultures where they sleep and use the bathroom on the ground there are almost no instances of hip dysfunction or low back pain like we have running rampant in the US.
  • 28:24: Juliet often tells her kids they need to sit on the floor if they’re watching a movie. Sitting pretzel style is part of a normal range of motion. Kids (and adults!) need to move through full ranges of motion in all our joints to keep things working smoothly.
  • 30:38: We talk about food (of course! 😉 ) Juliet tries to encourage a variety of vegetables in their family. One of her daughters is a very picky eater, and she shares how she deals with that.
  • 34:05: Juliet gives us a closing nugget of hope.

Resources We Mention About Standing

Juliet Starrett
Juliet Starrett is an entrepreneur, attorney, and CEO of two world-renowned fitness companies — The Ready State and San Francisco CrossFit.

Juliet also co-founded StandUpKids, which is a non-profit dedicated to combating kids’ sedentary lifestyles by bringing standing and moving desks to low-income public schools. To date, StandUpKids has converted 95,000 kids from sitting to standing.

Why Kids Should Stand All Day at School

What You Should Do Next:

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About Katie Kimball

Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.

Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.

A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.

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