Sedentary Behavior and Health: Broadening the Knowledge Base and Strengthening the Science

Nyssa Hadgraft, Neville Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We provide an overview of a recently published, edited book in a rapidly emerging field of research, policy, and practice for physical activity: Sedentary Behavior and Health. In this commentary, we highlight the broad perspectives provided in the 27 chapters of Sedentary Behavior and Health and suggest a research strategy to move the field forward—not only with scientific rigor, but also with breadth of scholarship. The book’s chapters provide an overview of the background to and contexts for sedentary behavior and health. They then highlight the importance of understanding health consequences and underlying mechanisms; introduce key measurement technology and analytic strategies; consider sedentary behavior in subpopulations; describe conceptual models and theories to guide sedentary behavior interventions; and explain what is known about interventions in different settings. Considering the breadth of perspectives brought to bear on the field and the plethora of opportunities for research, policy, and practice, we suggest 3 elements of an interdisciplinary research strategy drawing upon the primary knowledge bases of physical activity and health: through the experimental methods of exercise science, through the observational tools of epidemiology, and through the conceptual approaches and methods of behavioral science. A better understanding of the health consequences of sedentary behavior and how they may be influenced can be encompassed by 3 key questions: What changes are needed to most effectively influence sedentary behaviors? What elements of sedentary behavior should be changed to improve health outcomes? What are the feasibility of and the benefits from changing sedentary behavior?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017


  • Environmental determinants
  • inactivity physiology
  • intervention; sitting

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