Stand Up! An app to individualise the suggestion of when to stand up

An app to individualise the suggestion of when to stand up. Melitta McNarry, Kelly Mackintosh (Swansea University); David Dunstan, Paddy Dempsey, Neville Owen (Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute)

Physical inactivity is well-accepted as a major cause of morbidity and mortality, but less is known regarding the influence of sedentary behaviour (sitting) on adverse health outcomes. Sitting is now identified as a novel risk factor for poor cardiometabolic health and premature mortality. For many adults, sitting is inherent to the occupational setting, with office workers spending two thirds of their working hours sedentary. Importantly, even in those who regularly exercise, such activity does not offset all of the deleterious consequences of long sedentary periods. New evidence from our Australian CO-PIs shows significant benefits from by breaking up periods of sustained sitting with intermittent movement.

Wearable activity trackers and health apps are one of the most rapidly growing market sectors, highlighting the potential for technology in addressing this global health challenge. However, these apps tend to attract people who are already active; and more attention is needed on those who are highly sedentary, many of whom are unaware that they are, in order to break up their sedentary behaviours sufficiently for health gain. The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia has recently developed an app, Rise and Recharge, to address this issue, with preliminary evidence suggesting that self-monitoring and real-time feedback via an activity tracker and mobile app, with set-up support only, can elicit short-term improvements in daily movement, sitting time, and sitting accumulation patterns. This project will ascertain the individual and environmental factors that moderate the feasibility of this app to break up prolonged sitting in office workers.