A few weeks ago I bought a book titled Deskbound: Standing Up in a Sitting World, written by Dr. Kelly Starrett (along with his wife Julie and New York Times writer Glen Cordoza).

I had come across the Starrick’s last year, discussing work they had done at their daughter’s school in California.Having witnessed the changes taking place in children’s running techniques and postures between preschool (active, less sitting) and Year 1 (sitting is more common),Kelly and Julie decided to do something about it.A meetingwith theprincipal explainedhow 'standing would not only prevent a myriad of orthopedic problems in children but could also be a simple and elegant tool in combating childhood obesity, increasing classroom concentration and more. 1

Withintwelve months, Vellecito Elementary School had become the world’s first all- standing school, and the not for profitStandUpKids.org had been formed.

So I ask, what are the takeaways from this?

1) We need people like the Starrick’s, with the training and expertise to know what they are talking about, to bring issues like this to the attention of people who can do something about it. My Mum did this at our school tuckshop in the 80’s, in having sweets and fizzy drinks removed from the menu. Looking at tuckshop menu’s now, I can see that she was way ahead of her time....

2) Listeners and acknowledgers are great, but we need doer's i.e.,people who will get stuff done.Hats off to Tracy Smith, the Principal at Vallecito Elementary School who made it happen.




1. Deskbound: Standing Up in a Sitting World,Starrett, Kelly et al, Victoria Belt PublishingInc, 2016

The ABC’s ‘Catalyst’ program screened a piece in August 2012, simply titledSittingisDeadly. Despite five years passing since it first aired, Iwould strongly encourage you to view athttp://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3568627.htm. An ever growing body of research points to the simple fact that people who sit morelikelyto suffer from heart disease and diabetes (to name a few)ordie earlier than those who sit less.

As you watch the video, or read the transcript, consider how much you sit each day, and then think about how much your child or children sit each day.either at home, on public transport, and at school. Yep, it’s frightening.

Behaviour modification becomes more difficult the older we become. More and more adults are beginning to sit less and stand more at work as their employers recognise the benefits of doing so (and consequences of not doing so).Logically then, should we not be extending this movement into schools and other learning institutions?Yes, we should.

Ina single student generation, we canchange behaviours and transformtheclassroom.

If you would like to know more about Amperstand height adjustable school desks,please dropme anote.



Founder, Managing Director

Brisbane, Australia

Having gone through the process of coming up with a name for a company, I can now see why there are hundreds of books and websites on the topic. I’m sure some people find it easy, but for me it was arguably more difficult than the initial spec we wrote in mid 2016 to design a height adjustable desk.

In short, it’s a play on words…the ‘&’ symbol is called the ampersand, and represents the word ‘and’. So with our aim of trying to get kids more active in classroom environment, sitting less and standing more, it became &Stand, or Amperstand.

The history of the ampersand is a pretty cool story itself, check it our here.


Midway through 2016, I was at home in Hong Kong, watching my son complete his homework. He had found my laptop open on the dining room table, opened the application he needed, and began working. All the while his legs and feet moved, yet he stood, focused on his work. When I asked him why he didn’t sit down to do his homework, he responded, “Dad, I’d prefer to stand up and work, it helps me concentrate”

Having seen this, and knowing all too well how height adjustable desks had begun to make their way into the workplace, I began to question why it stopped at the school gate. Research showed the benefits of increased movement, surely if it were good enough for adults to have the flexibility to sit-stand it was good enough for their children?

The answer was of course 'Yes' ... Amperstand was born.

Fast-forward to April 2017, and we are closing in on having something to show the world. The design phases are complete, test rigs have proven the concept, the mechanism works and we have incorporated feedback from teachers and ergonomists. During April 2017 we will begin the manufacture of our first prototype desks. These will be tested in a number of environments and with schools across the country.

If you would like to know more about Amperstand, drop me a note.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jonathan Brunello
Founder, Managing Director
Brisbane, Australia