Interventions to Reduce Sedentary Behavior

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Abstract

Purpose

This article reports on the presentations and discussion from the working group on “Influences on Sedentary Behavior and Interventions To Reduce Sedentary Behavior” as part of the Sedentary Behavior: Identifying Research Priorities workshop.

Methods

Interventions were discussed in the context of targeting sedentary behavior (SB) as a concept distinct from physical activity. It was recommended that interventions targeting SB should consider a life course perspective, a position predicated on the assumption that SB is age and life stage dependent. In addition, targeting environments where individuals have high exposure to SB—such as workplace sitting—could benefit from new technology (e.g., computer-based prompting to stand or move), environmental changes (e.g., active workstations), policies targeting reduced sedentary time (e.g., allowing employees regular desk breaks), or by changing norms surrounding prolonged sitting (e.g., standing meetings).

Results and Conclusions

There are limited data about the minimal amount of SB change required to produce meaningful health benefits. In addition to developing relevant scientific and public health definitions of SB, it is important to further delineate the scope of health and quality-of-life outcomes associated with reduced SB across the life course and to clarify what behavioral alternatives to SB can be used to optimize health gains. SB interventions will benefit from having more clarity about the potential physiological and behavioral synergies with current physical activity recommendations, developing multilevel interventions aimed at reducing SB across all life phases and contexts, harnessing relevant and effective strategies to extend the reach of interventions to all sectors of society, as well as applying state-of-the-science adaptive designs and methods to accelerate advances in the science of SB interventions.

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