Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health / 31.07.2019 Interview with: Wei Bao, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology College of Public Health, University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 52242  and Yang Du University of Iowa What is the background for this study? Response: In 2008, the US Department of Health and Human Services released the first federal Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommended that people should do at least 150 minutes moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. This key recommendation has been reaffirmed in the 2018 recently updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. In addition, the new 2018 Guidelines for the first time discussed health risks of sedentary behaviors. Insufficient physical activity and long sitting time have long been recognized as risk factors for major chronic diseases and mortality. Therefore, we were curious whether there have been a significant changes in adherence to the Physical Activity Guidelines in US adults since the release of the first edition of the federal guidelines in 2008 and whether sedentary behavior in US adults changed during the same period. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health / 13.10.2018 Interview with: Dr Fehmidah Munir CPsychol, AFBPsS Reader in Health Psychology Athena SWAN School Champion School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine Loughborough University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Given the evidence of the harmful effects of high levels of sitting time on health and the high proportion of time the majority of adults spend in this behaviour, particularly in the workplace, methods to reduce overall and prolonged sitting were needed. Our SMArT Work (Stand More AT Work) programme was delivered to NHS office workers and involved brief education about the impact of sitting on health and benefits of reducing sitting, feedback on sitting behaviour, providing staff with a height-adjustable desk to enable them to work either standing up or sitting down, motivational posters and brief chats with a researcher to see how they were getting on. They received this programme over 12 months. We found that office workers in our study spent nearly 10 hours/day sitting down, which can be bad for health, but we’ve shown that those office workers who received our SMArT Work programme had lower sitting time by around 80mins per day after 12 months compared to those who didn’t receive our programme. Those who received SMArT Work also reported an increase in work engagement, job performance and quality of life and less musculoskeletal issues such as back and neck pain, they felt less tired after a day at work, had less feelings of anxiety and lower sickness presenteeism (working whilst sick). We didn’t find any differences in the number of days absent at work though. Whether you work remotely from home or in an office environment, it may also be good to invest in new Office Furniture. This could also help combat the issue of back and neck pains that you may be experiencing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health / 18.09.2018 Interview with: “sleeping” by Venturist is licensed under CC BY 2.0Matthieu Boisgontier  PhD Movement Control & Neuroplasticity Research Group KU Leuven Brain Behaviour Laboratory University of British Columbia, Canada What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For decades, society has encouraged people to be more physically active. Yet, despite gradually scaling up actions promoting physical activity across the years, we are actually becoming less active. From 2010 to 2016, the number of inactive adults has increased by 5% worldwide, now affecting more than 1 in 4 adults (1.4 billion people). This context raised the question: Why do we still fail to be more physically active? Our hypothesis was that this failure is explained by an “exercise paradox” in which conscious and automatic processes in the brain come into conflict. To illustrate this paradox, you can think of people taking the elevator or escalator when they go to the gym, which does not make sense. This non-sense, this paradox, could be due to the fact that their intention to exercise come into conflict with an automatic attraction to resting in the elevator. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health, Weight Research / 27.01.2017 Interview with: Arch G. Mainous III, PhD HSRMP Department Chair Florida Blue Endowed Professor of Health Administration University of Florida Health What is the background for this study? Response: As our post-industrial society becomes more and more sedentary, there is a concern that a lack of activity is associated with poor health outcomes like diabetes. At the same time, the medical community has a strong focus on determining whether patients are overweight or obese as a way to classify them as  being at higher risk for poor health outcomes. However, individuals at a “healthy weight” in general, are considered to be at low risk. Some recent studies have shown that many individuals at “healthy weight” are not metabolically healthy. How then might we predict who at “healthy weight” would be unhealthy? We hypothesized that individuals at “healthy weight” who had a sedentary lifestyle would be more likely to have prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health / 12.12.2016 Interview with: Bernard M Duvivier  Department of Human Biology and Movement Science NUTRIM School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre Maastricht, the Netherlands What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: The health benefits of exercise have been well established but sitting is a risk factor for health, independent of exercise. As many people with type 2 diabetes don’t like to exercise we investigated whether replacing sitting time with light-intensity activities (standing and light walking) is equally effective to exercise when energy expenditure is comparable. Our results suggest that for people with type 2 diabetes, light-intensity activities (light walking and standing) can be an alternative to exercise to improve glucose regulation. In addition we showed that too much sitting has negative effects on insulin sensitivity which could not be fully compensated by 1 hour of exercise per day. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emory, Exercise - Fitness, Geriatrics, Heart Disease, Lifestyle & Health / 18.11.2016 Interview with: Vasiliki Georgiopoulou MD MPH PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) Emory University School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although existing evidence suggests that more exercise capacity is associated with lower risk of CV disease and death, we don’t know whether more exercise capacity would lead to lower risk for heart failure also. This would be especially important for older adults, who are the group with the highest risk to develop heart failure. We used the data of a cohort study to test this association. The exercise capacity was evaluated by a walking test that is easy to perform – the long-distance corridor walk test. We observed that older adults who were able to complete the test had the lowest risk to develop heart failure and the lowest mortality rates, when compared with those who were not able to complete the test and those who could not do the test for medical reasons. We also observed that changes in exercise capacity 4 years later did not predict subsequent heart failure or mortality – perhaps because less fit older patients had already developed heart failure or had died. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, Lifestyle & Health / 31.10.2016 Interview with: Ulrik Wisløff, PhD Professor, Head of K.G. Jebsen Center for Exercise in Medicine Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging Norwegian University of Science and Technology Norway What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prolonged time spent sedentary on a daily basis is detrimental for general health and is associated with increased risk of developing and dying from lifestyle related diseases such as cardiovascular disease – even in those following todays advice for physical activity given by health authorities worldwide. Number of hours spent inactive tend to increase with increased age. A person’s fitness level is regarded the best predictor of future health. We tested, in older adults (aged 70-77 years old) whether meeting physical activity recommendations and/or having high age-specific fitness level attenuated the adverse effect of prolonged sedentary time on cardiovascular risk factor clustering. Main finding was that high age-specific fitness level fully attenuated the adverse effect of prolonged sedentary time on clustering of cardiovascular risk factors, independent of meeting the physical activity recommendation in older adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health, Ophthalmology / 05.08.2016 Interview with: Paul Dinneen Loprinzi, PhD Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management University of Mississippi What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous research demonstrates that adults who have higher daily sedentary behavior tend to have worse cardiometabolic health profiles. The extent to which sedentary behavior is associated with diabetic retinopathy has yet to be evaluated in the literature before our study. Our findings provided some suggestive evidence that more sedentary behavior was associated with a higher odds of having diabetic retinopathy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Lancet, Lifestyle & Health / 29.07.2016 Interview with: Ulf Ekelund, PhD FACSM Professor Department of Sports Medicine Norwegian School of Sport Sciences What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is known that long sitting hours may be detrimental to health and previous studies have suggested associations between sitting time and all-cause mortality.However, it is not known whether physical activity can eliminate the increased risk of death associated with long sitting time. We found that at least one hour of physical activity every day appear to offset the increased risk associated with more than eight hours of sitting. We also found that those who were physically inactive and sat for less than 4 hours every day were at greater risk compared with those who were physically active and sat for more than 8 hours providing further evidence on the benefits of physical activity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Global Health, Lancet, Lifestyle & Health / 29.07.2016 Interview with: Ding Ding (Melody), Ph.D., MPH NHMRC Early Career Senior Research Fellow Sydney University Postdoctoral Research Fellow Prevention Research Collaboration Sydney School of Public Health The University of Sydney What is the background for this study? Response: Understanding the true burden of a pandemic is indispensable for informed decision making. After decades of research, we now have established knowledge about how physical inactivity contributes to pre-mature deaths and chronic diseases, but the economic burden of physical inactivity remains unquantified at the global level. Through estimating the economic burden of physical inactivity for the first time, we hope to create a business case for investing in cost-effective actions to promote physical activity at the global levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health / 20.04.2016 Interview with: Paddy Dempsey MPhEd, PhD in Medicine (expected June 2016) Physical Physical Activity and Behavioural Epidemiology Laboratory Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute Melbourne VIC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In addition to too little physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior – defined as any waking sitting or reclining behavior with low energy expenditure – has emerged as a ubiquitous and significant population-wide influence on cardiometabolic health outcomes, with potentially distinct and modifiable environmental and social determinants. There is now a consistent base of epidemiologic evidence reporting deleterious associations of excessive sedentary behaviors (e.g. TV viewing, car use, and desk work) with mortality and cardiometabolic morbidity, independent of moderate-vigorous PA. To date, efforts to influence participation in moderate-to-vigorous exercise (i.e. 30 min a day of ‘exercise’ on most days a week for health) at the population level, such as through large-scale campaigns to promote walking, and other initiatives to encourage people to exercise during their leisure time have achieved only modest success. There may, however, be untapped preventive-health and clinical management potential through shifting the high volume of time spent sedentary to light-intensity physical activity interspersed throughout the day. As such, sedentary behavior represents a potentially feasible and therapeutic target, particularly in the promotion of metabolic health. We posited that people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) were likely to derive the greatest benefits from interrupting their sitting time. However, until now the contributions of prolonged sitting and/or interrupting prolonged sitting with very-brief bouts of light-intensity PA had never been experimentally tested in patients with T2D. Moreover, this study for the first time moved beyond interrupting sitting with standing or ambulatory bouts (although walking bouts were also examined), which may have differing levels of metabolic stimulus (i.e. not physiologically taxing the body enough), practicality, or health efficacy, to examine a potential addition/alternative: simple resistance activities (SRA). A key premise behind these SRA bouts (half-squats, calf raises, gluteal contractions, and knee raises) were that they required no specialized equipment, only small amounts of space, and could be easily performed in a fixed position behind a work desk or at home with minimal disruption to work tasks or leisure pursuits. In addition, they also markedly increase muscle activity, and may also have other longer-term benefits (for example physical function, muscle strength, bone density), however we can only speculate on these aspects at present. In this study in men and women with type 2 diabetes, plasma glucose, insulin and C-peptide (marker of insulin secretion and pancreatic beta cell function) levels following standardized breakfast and lunch meals were all markedly attenuated when prolonged sitting was regularly interrupted with light walking or resistance activities (3 min every 30 min) over an 8 hour day. Plasma triglyceride levels were also reduced for both types of activity bout; however, the reduction was only significant for the SRAs. Interestingly, the magnitude of glucose reduction for the walking bouts was greater in women for glucose levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health / 16.03.2016 Interview with: Dr Nipun Shrestha MBBS, MPH Health Research and Social Development Forum Thapathali, Kathmandu, Nepal What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: These days our work in the offices isn't the same as it used to be. Almost everybody is working with a computer nowadays and that makes you sit still all day. We do not need to move from our chair to do most of the things. This is not just the case in developed countries but for developing countries as well. One would argue though we are sitting in the office hours but we are regularly doing lots of exercises. However researchers have found that sedentary behavior is an independent risk factor for many chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. So breaking up time that we spend sitting is important. There are many commercial innovations available in the market which are being advertised heavily by the manufacturers. The evidence on effectiveness of such innovation is however not available. We found that there is limited evidence on effectiveness of interventions that aim to reduce sitting at work. There is some evidence that sit-stand desk may reduce sitting at work between 30 minutes to 2 hours without any adverse effects. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, NIH / 05.11.2015 Interview with: Sarah K. Keadle, PhD, MPH Cancer Prevention Fellow Nutritional Epidemiology Branch Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Keadle: Television viewing is extremely prevalent in the U.S. Ninety-two percent of Americans have a television at home and watching TV consumes more than half of their available leisure time, potentially displacing more physical activities. Previous studies have reported a relationship between TV viewing and increased risk of death from the two most common causes of death in the U.S., cancer and heart disease. In our study, we followed more than 221,000 healthy Americans aged 50-71 years old for 14 years to look at this relationship. We confirmed the association with increased risk of death from cancer and heart disease. In addition, we found that TV viewing was associated with an increased risk of six other causes of death, including diabetes, influenza/pneumonia, Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease. Also, compared to individuals who watched less than one hour per day, those who watched 3-4 hours of TV per day were 15% more likely to die from any cause, and individuals who watched seven or more hours of TV per day were 47% more likely to die over the study period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health / 28.09.2015

Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson PhD Senior Research associate Epidemiology & Public Health, Div of Population Health University College, Interview with: Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson PhD Senior Research associate Epidemiology & Public Health, Div of Population Health University College, London   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Even among adults who meet recommended physical activity levels and who sleep for eight hours per night, it is possible to spend the vast majority of the day (up to 15 hours) sitting down. We were concerned about possible harm resulting from sitting for long periods combined with not moving. Breaks in sitting time have previously been shown to improve markers of good health, such as body mass index and your body’s glucose and insulin responses. But until now, no study has ever examined whether fidgeting might modify an association between sitting time and mortality. We noticed that The UK Women’s Cohort Study collected data (from 1999 to 2002) on health behavious, chronic disease, physical activity levels, sitting time - and fidgeting (a self-report scale ranging from 0 to 10, where 10 means ‘constantly’). More than 12,000 responses were received. We looked at the data to see who had died over the next 12 years. Among women with low levels of fidgeting who also sat for 7 or more hours per day (compared to less than 5 hours), there was around a 30% increase in the risk of mortality over 12 years follow-up. Among women with medium or high levels of fidgeting, we did not see this harmful effect of sitting time, even after adjusting for other lifestyle factors including physical activity level. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, NYU / 19.06.2015 Interview with: Stella Yi, PhD, MPH New York University Langone School of Medicine, Department of Population Health New York, NY 10016 MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Yi: Sedentary behaviors, such as sitting time, are an emerging risk factor in the field of physical activity epidemiology. Recent studies have demonstrated the negative health consequences associated with extended sitting time, including metabolic disturbances and decreased life expectancy independent of the effects of regular exercise. We also assessed mean values of self-reported sitting time to characterize these behaviors in a diverse, urban sample of adults. The average New York City resident sits more than seven hours a day—greatly exceeding the three hours or more per day that is associated with decreased life expectancy. Among the findings:
  • At the lower economic end, individuals spent 6.3 hours per day sitting, while those with higher incomes spent 8.2 hours per day sitting
  • College graduates spent 8.2 hours per day sitting, compared with 5.5 hours per day for those with less than a high school education
  • Whites spent on average 7.8 hours per day sitting, African Americans spent 7.4 hours sitting, Hispanics spent 5.4 hours sitting, and Asian Americans spent 7.9 hours per day sitting
  • Sitting time was highest in Manhattan, compared to other boroughs.
In the current analysis, we also assessed the validity of a two-question survey method of sitting time during waking hours using accelerometers to measure sedentary time in a subsample of our study participants. The correlation between sitting time reported in the survey and accelerometer-measured sedentary time was modest (r=0.32, p<0.01) with wide limits of agreement. We interpreted this to mean that while self-reported sitting might be useful at the population-level to provide rankings and subgroups, it may be limited in assessing an individual’s actual behavior. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Lifestyle & Health, University of Pittsburgh / 02.04.2015 Interview with: Bonny Rockette-Wagner, Ph.D. Director of physical activity assessment, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and Andrea Kriska, Ph.D. Professor of epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Researchers’ Note: Drs. Kriska and Rockette-Wagner: It should be noted that this study looked at adults at high risk for diabetes. Not everyone in the general population would be at high risk. We would hypothesis that the risk increase from TV watching may be lower in those not at high risk for diabetes, but obviously could not test that in our study population. MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Response: In this research effort focused on participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study (published in 2002 and funded by the National Institute of Digestive and Diabetes and Kidney Diseases [NIDDK] section of the US National Institutes of Health [NIH]). That study enrolled 3,234 overweight US adults (1996–1999) of at least 25 years of age with the goal of delaying or preventing type 2 diabetes in high risk individuals with either a metformin drug or lifestyle intervention. The DPP demonstrated that the lifestyle intervention was successful at reducing the incidence of diabetes and achieving its goals of 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity activity (such as brisk walking) and a 7% weight loss (New England Journal of Medicine, 2002). There was no goal to reduce sitting in the Diabetes Prevention Program. Results from other studies suggest that it is unclear if interventions focusing on increasing physical activity also reduce time spent sitting. This current investigation examined whether the Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle intervention, which was shown to be effective at increasing physical activity, also decreased self-reported sitting time. The effect of sedentary behavior on diabetes development was also examined. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Response: For the lifestyle participants, a reduction in reported TV watching alone and the combination of TV watching and work sitting was observed. This reduction was significantly greater than any changes seen in the other two randomized groups, who did not receive the intervention. Because these reductions were accomplished without an explicit program goal to reduce sitting we feel optimistic that with better awareness of sitting behaviors and goal setting to reduce sitting it may be possible to have an even greater impact than what was achieved in this cohort. Additionally, our results showed that for every hour spent watching TV there was a 3.4% increased risk of developing diabetes during the 3 year follow-up period in individuals at high risk for diabetes. This finding means that reductions in sitting can translate into a positive health effect separate from improvements in moderate-vigorous activity. (more…)
Author Interviews, CHEST, Lifestyle & Health, Obstructive Sleep Apnea / 24.02.2015

Matthew Buman PhD Asst Professor SNHP Exercise & Wellness Arizona State Interview with: Matthew Buman PhD Asst Professor SNHP Exercise & Wellness Arizona State University   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Buman: A lack of physical activity is a known risk factor for insomnia, poor sleep, and obstructive sleep apnea. In addition to physical activity, sedentary behavior has emerged as an important behavior. Sedentary behavior is not just the lack of physical activity, but actually refers to the time someone spend sitting. This behavior has been shown to, independent of physical activity, be related to many poor health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even premature death. This is the first study to examine whether there is a relationship between excess sitting and insomnia, poor sleep, and risk for obstructive sleep apnea. We found, after adjusting for physical activity and body weight (among other confounding factors), that total daily sitting was associated with poor sleep quality but not other sleep metrics or OSA risk. However, we also examined sitting while watching television and found a significant relationship between this type of sitting and a host of sleep quality metrics as well as risk for OSA. In a subsequent analysis we found that despite the independent relationship between sitting while watching television with OSA risk, those that were physically active were protected from this negative impact. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health / 20.01.2015

David Alter, MD, PhD FRCPC Senior Scientist Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Research Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Program Toronto Rehabilitation Interview with: David Alter, MD, PhD FRCPC Senior Scientist Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Research Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Program Toronto Rehabilitation Institute   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Alter: We knew going into the study that exercise was an important lifestyle factor that improved health. We also knew from studies that sedentary time was associated with deleterious health-effects. What we didn’t know was whether the health-outcome effects of sedentary time and exercise were really one and the same (i.e., albeit opposite ends of the same spectrum) or alternatively, whether the health effects of each were independent of one another.  We explored over 9000 published studies to quantify the health-outcome effects associated with sedentary behaviour and extracted only those which took into account both sedentary time and exercise. We found a consistent association between sedentary time and a host of health outcomes independent of exercise. Specifically, after controlling for an individual’s exercising behaviour, sitting-time was associated with a 15-20% higher risk of death, heart-disease, death from heart disease, cancer-incidence, and death from cancer. Sitting time was also independently  associated with a marked (i.e., 90% increase) in the risk for diabetes after controlling for exercise. In short, sedentary times and exercise are each independently associated with health outcomes. We hypothesize that the two may have different mechanism, and may require different therapeutic strategies. But, the health-outcome implications of both are each important in their own right. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, General Medicine, Occupational Health / 10.09.2014

Saurabh S. Thosar, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences, Oregon Health & Science Interview with: Saurabh S. Thosar, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences, Oregon Health & Science University Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Thosar: We discovered that 3 hours of sitting leads to an impairment in shear rate and an impairment in femoral artery endothelial function. When systematic breaks are added in the sitting time the shear rate and the endothelial function are preserved. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness / 21.02.2014 Interview with: Dorothy D Dunlop, PhD Professor, Medicine-Rheumatology Center for Healthcare Studies - Institute for Public Health and Medicine and Preventive Medicine Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineDorothy D Dunlop, PhD Professor, Medicine-Rheumatology Center for Healthcare Studies - Institute for Public Health and Medicine and Preventive Medicine Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Dunlop: We know being active, especially doing moderate activity like taking a brisk walk, is good for health. We know a sedentary lifestyle leads to health problems. What we do not know is whether or not those are two ways of looking at the same question. Does being sedentary like sitting just reflect insufficient activity OR is sedentary time is a separate and distinct risk factor for health problems. Our physical activity research group looked at national US data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  This is an important study because they monitored physical activity using an accelerometer.  We found sedentary behavior such as sitting was its own separate risk factor for disability. (more…)