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‘Too Much Sitting’ and Metabolic Risk—Has Modern Technology Caught Up with Us?
health and safety bodies to seriously begin to address the potential
implications of prolonged unbroken sitting time in the workplace. David W Dunstan, PhD, is Head of the Physical Activity
Laboratory at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in
Clinical Implications
Melbourne. He holds adjunct positions with The University of
Queensland, Deakin University, Edith Cowan University, and
In medical and broader healthcare practice, it may turn out to be a Monash University. His interventional and epidemiological
feasible option to advise patients on reducing their sitting time and
research focuses on the role of physical activity and
sedentary behavior in the prevention and management of
increasing their routine light-intensity activities as an additional (and
type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
in some cases alternative) element to the accepted recommendations
on increasing levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity. While Genevieve N Healy, PhD, is a Post-doctoral Research
regular participation in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical
Fellow at the Cancer Prevention Research Centre in the
School of Population Health at the University of Queensland,
activity can be a powerful and important positive biological stimulus,
and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Baker IDI Heart and
reducing sitting time and increasing levels of light-intensity activity Diabetes Institute. Her PhD work reported some of the first
now appear to be viable and worthwhile additional options.
evidence on the relationship between objectively measured
sedentary time and light-intensity exercise time with
cardio-metabolic health.
Conclusions
Recent advances in exercise science and population health studies Takemi Sugiyama, PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow at the
have begun to highlight the health-promoting potential for reducing
Cancer Prevention Research Centre, University of
Queensland. His current research program is concerned
sitting time in people’s daily lives. These new options for increasing
with examining built and natural environment attributes
adults’ daily energy expenditure and metabolic health must be seen associated with physical activity and sedentary behavior.
as additional to, and not replacing, the need for all adults to have
He has a background in architecture and environment–
behaviour studies.
regular participation in various forms of moderate to vigorous
physical activity. This might include more active transport to and from
work or in other aspects of daily life through walking or bicycle use, Neville Owen, PhD, is a Professor of Health Behaviour and
which would simultaneously reduce time that would otherwise be
Director of the Cancer Prevention Research Centre in the
School of Population Health, University of Queensland. He
spent sitting, as well as increasing moderate to vigorous physical
was previously Foundation Professor of Human Movement
activity. Overall, there are many benefits that might flow from a Science, Head of the School of Human Movement, and
broader perspective on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and
Director of Research for the Faculty of Health & Behavioural
Sciences at Deakin University. His publications are in
health. The bottom line is that we need to consider the two major
tobacco control, physical activity, and behavioral building of
variables of the physical activity and health equation: too little the evidence base for chronic disease prevention.
exercise and too much sitting. n
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US ENDOCRINOLOGY 33
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