PUBlic Professor Series | Dr. Jennifer Copeland

Sitting, Standing and Stepping: The Health Implications of Our Daily Behaviour

Dr. Jennifer Copeland, Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education

It is widely acknowledged that physical activity is beneficial to our health in myriad ways, including reducing our risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. In 1996 the first Surgeon General’s report on physical activity was released and shortly after, in 1998, Canada launched national guidelines for physical activity participation. But, almost 20 years later, the majority of Canadians still do not meet the minimum recommendation of 150 minutes per week of moderate activity. Furthermore, new evidence suggests that even individuals who manage to achieve these guidelines may have health risks as a result of how they spend the other 23 ½ hours of their day.

Sedentary behavior, such as prolonged sitting, has emerged as a new threat to public health-one that is increasingly pervasive. Is sitting really “the new smoking”? Or is doing a few minutes of purposeful exercise every day all that matters? In this presentation, Jennifer Copeland will discuss the continuum of human movement and examine what current research tells us about how our daily movement behaviour impacts our health.

“Not that long ago, people started to question, whether it’s not the activity, but rather all the sitting the rest of our day,” says Copeland. “I’ve been involved in looking at the effects of sedentary time, sort of the opposite end of the movement continuum. What happens when you sit all the time?”

Read the full story here.

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