Abstracts of presentations

Behaviour change to address sedentarism 20 Feb 2018

Shailey Minocha: KEYNOTE - Role of activity monitors in adopting an active and healthy lifestyle

In this keynote, Shailey will present the results of a two-year research programme in which she and her colleagues have been investigating the role of activity monitors in active and healthy ageing of people aged over 55 years, and in self-monitoring of health and wellbeing of both carers and people being cared for. Activity monitoring technologies such as those from Fitbit, Garmin and Samsung help to track activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep. Shailey will discuss how these technologies can bring about positive behavioural changes towards active lifestyles: how they help towards keeping fit, as a preventative measure towards medical conditions, and in monitoring health and mobility when suffering from a medical condition, during both prehabilitation and rehabilitation.

Dr Stanley Blue: Theories of Practice and Public Health: From the Obesogenic Environment to Healthy Everyday Life

Arguments about the social determinants of health have encouraged contemporary public health interventions targeted at modifying the obesogenic environment. Example interventions include opportunities to influence the ‘food environment’ so that healthier options are more accessible, available, and affordable and similarly to provide more green space in a bid to nurture physical activity and exercise. Such interventions, however, fail to capture the significance of changes in the composition of everyday life that matter for when, where, and how people consume and behave in particular places and at specific times. This paper argues that rising rates of obesity, and what is known as the obesogenic environment itself, are better conceptualised as outcomes of changes in the composition of practices that make up everyday life and the material arrangements and interwoven timespaces that underpin them. The policy implications of such an approach are that public health interventions should be extended beyond shaping the obesogenic environment to shaping the composition of everyday life.

Dr Jacqueline Mair: Using technology to reduce sedentary behaviour in the workplace

Sedentary behaviour is associated with increased mortality, diabetes mellitus, obesity and cardiovascular disease risk in adults, as well as increased absenteesim and decreased productivity in office workers. Office workers spend up to 75% of the working day sitting for prolonged periods of time and therefore are a population that require strategies and interventions to help change their sedendary behaviour.

Technology can be harnessed to counter negative trends and create exciting opportunities to quantify and modify sedentary behaviour. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis reported that computer based, mobile and wearable technologies provide promising approaches to reduce sedentary behaviour in the general population (1). However, the quality of the current evidence is low and there is limited reporting of the behaviour change techniques that have been used to modify sedentary behaviour, thus more rigorously controlled study designs are needed.

This presentation will discuss current thinking around occupational sedentary behaviour as well as a programme of work that has lead to the design and development of an intervention aimed at reducing sedentary behaviour in the workplace through the use of a mobile app – Worktivity.

1 Stephenson A, McDonough S, Murphy MH, Nugent CD, Mair JL. (2017) Using computer, mobile and wearable technology interventions to change sedentary behaviours: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14:105

Max Western : Developing online resources to support reduction of sedentary behaviour in older people in the community

This talk will describe how we applied the iterative person-based approach to optimise the development of an online intervention aimed at reducing sedentary time in community dwelling older adults. First, I will introduce the overall aims of this programme of research, which will trial online support for physical and cognitive activities to maintain cognitive function in 10,000 older people with and 10,000 older people without age-associated cognitive decline. I will describe the intervention development and discuss how we applied a ‘think aloud’ methodology to elicit feedback from members of the target user group to help maximise the acceptability, usability and persuasiveness of the intervention. I will explain how this will be used for refining the web-based intervention content and explain the subsequent process of prototyping a fully-functioning version of the intervention using other in-depth qualitative research methods such as diaries and retrospective interviews to further enhance the final intervention.