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Editorials |

Too Much Sitting and Chronic Disease Risk: Steps to Move the Science ForwardToo Much Sitting and Chronic Disease Risk

Brigid M. Lynch, PhD; and Neville Owen, PhD
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From Cancer Epidemiology Centre, Cancer Council Victoria; and Behavioural & Generational Change Program, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

Grant Support: Dr. Lynch is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (early career fellowship 586727). Dr. Owen is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council Program (grant 569940), the National Health and Medical Research Council (senior principal research fellowship 1003960), and the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program.

Disclosures: None. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M14-2552.

Requests for Single Reprints: Neville Owen, PhD, Program Head, Behavioural & Generational Change, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Level 4, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004 Australia; e-mail, neville.owen@bakeridi.edu.au.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Lynch: Cancer Epidemiology Centre, Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia.

Dr. Owen: Program Head, Behavioural & Generational Change, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Level 4, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004 Australia.


Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(2):146-147. doi:10.7326/M14-2552
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In this issue, Biswas and colleagues examined the association between sedentary behavior and risk for disease and death. The editorialists discuss the results of the review and assert that device-based measurement may be more effective in evaluating sedentary time than the self-reporting method currently used in most studies.

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Standing time should be distinquished from sitting time
Posted on February 2, 2015
Ware Kuschner
VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine
Conflict of Interest: None Declared
Lynch and Owen describe a potential role for accelerometers in future research exploring the health effects of sedentary behavior, but do not consider important limitations of these devices. The use of accelerometers to assess for movement may result in misclassification of time spent standing as sedentary time. However, the adverse health outcomes attributable to sedentary behavior may not be associated with standing in one place. Sit-stand work stations are available in many workplaces and have been demonstrated to reduce desk-based workers' sitting time at work. [1] Standing upright in front of a desk may involve limited movement, but could be a healthy alternative to sitting. Future research on the effects of sedentary time on health outcomes should make every effort to distinguish periods of immobility while sitting or recumbent from periods of standing in one place.
1. Chau JY, Daley M, Dunn S, Srinivasan A, Do A, Bauman AE, et al. The effectiveness of sit-stand workstations for changing office workers' sitting time: results from the Stand@Work randomized controlled trial pilot. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014 Oct 8;11:127. PMID: 25291960 doi: 10.1186/s12966-014-0127-7
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