Stand up with your University Library


During the summer of 2015 University of Southampton Libraries have been keeping you updated on progress with specific projects across our Library sites – the new Library & Learning Commons at the Avenue Campus has just been launched.

In the Hartley Library there has been a small, but we believe significant enhancement to the study space that we provide:  evidence-based and informed by research published over many decades, we have installed the first upright study desks for students and staff to use.

This initiative has been taken in response to feedback provided by students, who told us:  “I was getting problems with my back from being stooped over at a chair (there is a history of back problems in my family).  It helps me focus, I am able to work for much longer periods of time.  Overall it helps combat a sedentary lifestyle that is so common in our society.”  “Many workplaces are now making the change to standing areas for people to work – why should the University be behind on this?”

That persuasive communication caught our attention and has led directly to the introduction of the new upright study desks in the Hartley.  You can find them on:

Level 1 – close to the rolling stack periodicals J

Level 4 – in Room 4129 (the Quiet Study Space at the far end – left through the doors from Level 4 closest to printers/photocopiers)

Level 5 – by the mezzanine and close to the PQ stock (top of spiral stairs)

Already, we have received comments:

“A lot of my work involves programming, which I love, but sitting down, which I hate. It sounds so silly, but being able to stand up means I can fidget easier, and it stops me from slouching and feeling lethargic. It also means I walk around more often because, hey, I’m already standing up so why not go and refill my bottle, or take a walk in the sun? So at the end of a day of work I don’t feel as gross and tired.”

PhD student, Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

“I’ve recently come across a number of standing desks in level 5 in Hartley library. I think these are fantastic and I was wondering if you know of any more that are about in the Library, or if there are any plans to get any more?”

Well, yes, when the Library next increases the number of study spaces that we provide in the building, we will be adding more upright study desks into the mix.  Please let us know what you think about this, and if you are not familiar with the increasing literature on this important area of research, here are some references you might like to read (use the Library Discovery service, Delphis to retrieve the full text :

Barwais FA, Cuddihy TF & Tomson LM. (2014). Adult total wellness: group differences based on sitting time and physical activity level.  BMC Public Health, 14, 234. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-234

Clark BK, Peeters GM, Gomersall SR, Pavey TG & Brown WJ. (2014). Nine year changes in sitting time in young and mid-aged Australian women: findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study for Women’s Health.  Preventive Medicine, 64, 1-7. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.03.017

Pavey TG, Peeters GG & Brown WJ. (2015). Sitting-time and 9-year all-cause mortality in older women.  British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49, 95-9. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2012-091676

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