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Sedentary behavior and disease risk

Guest Editors:
Marieke De Craemer: Ghent University, Belgium
Joseph Henson: University of Leicester, United Kingdom
Tom Yates: University of Leicester, United Kingdom


BMC Public Health called for submissions to our Collection on sedentary behavior and disease risk. 
Sedentary behavior is characterized by activities with a very low energy expenditure, usually in a sitting, reclining, or lying posture. 
Common examples of sedentary behaviors are using computers, watching television, using phones or tablets, playing video games, reading and driving. 
Insufficient physical activity and sedentary behaviors result in an increase of all-cause mortality.
Moreover, they are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, depression, and some types of cancers.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Marieke De Craemer: Ghent University, Belgium

Marieke De Craemer is an Assistant Professor in "Exercise is Medicine" at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the Ghent University. Her research interests include 24-hour behavior in clinical populations (e.g., patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, children with overweight or obesity), which formed the basis for establishing her own research group called 'MOVEUP24.' Within this research group, the determinants of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep in clinical populations are investigated. Additionally, interventions are developed and evaluated in collaboration with the target groups using co-creative approaches. Her research line focuses on all aspects of 24-hour behavior, including measurement, determinants, and interventions in both younger and older clinical populations.

Joseph Henson: University of Leicester, United Kingdom 

Joseph Henson is a Researcher working in the Leicester Diabetes Research Centre at the University of Leicester. He also works within the lifestyle theme of the Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, which aims to prevent, manage, and treat chronic illness like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. His research interests include the role of sedentary behavior in type 2 diabetes, and the interaction of physical behaviors across 24 hours (sleep, sedentary behavior, physical activity) and their influence on health outcomes.

Tom Yates: University of Leicester, United Kingdom

Tom Yates works within the Diabetes Research Centre, University of Leicester. As a core member of the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, his ongoing research is investigating how increased physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior can be used as therapies in the prevention and management of long-term chronic diseases. He has published over 200 original articles which have had wide ranging impact, including informing public health and long-term chronic disease management guidelines. His behavioral interventions have been widely commissioned throughout the UK and internationally.

About the collection

 BMC Public Health is calling for submissions to our Collection on sedentary behavior and disease risk. 
Globally, approximately one third of the population aged 15 and above does not get enough exercise and engages in various types of sedentary behaviors.

Sedentary behavior is characterized by activities with a very low energy expenditure, usually in a sitting, reclining, or lying posture. Common examples of sedentary behaviors are using computers, watching television, using phones or tablets, playing video games, reading and driving. 

Sedentary lifestyle is increasing due to many factors: traffic congestion, lack of public space for exercise, lack of pedestrian walkways and cycle pathways, shortage in sports facilities, increase of sedentary work and leisure-time sitting.

Insufficient physical activity and sedentary behaviors result in an increase of all-cause mortality. Moreover, they are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, depression, and some types of cancers.

In support of Sustainable Development Goal 3- Good Health and Well-Being  and Sustainable Development Goal 9- Industry Innovation and Infrastructures,  BMC Public Health has launched this collection calling for research on sedentary behavior and disease risk. We would particularly welcome submissions addressing but not limited to:

  • The association between sedentary behavior and health-related outcomes
  • Public awareness campaigns on the health risks of sedentary behaviors
  • Policies for outdoor physical activity promotion to reduce sedentary behaviors and health-related issues
  • Exercise programs to improve lifestyle and reduce sedentary behaviors at home and at work


Image credit: patrick / Stock.adobe.com

  1. Movement behaviours, such as sedentary behavior (SB) and physical inactivity, have become a public health issue due to their implications for physical and mental health. The literature indicates that the unive...

    Authors: Bruna Carolina Rafael Barbosa, Luiz Antônio Alves de Menezes-Júnior, Waléria de Paula, Carolina Martins dos Santos Chagas, Elaine Leandro Machado, Eulilian Dias de Freitas, Clareci Silva Cardoso, Fernanda de Carvalho Vidigal, Luciana Neri Nobre, Luciana Saraiva da Silva and Adriana Lúcia Meireles
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:1860
  2. Abnormal heart rate recovery (HRR), representing cardiac autonomic dysfunction, is an important predictor of cardiovascular disease. Prolonged sedentary time (ST) is associated with a slower HRR. However, it i...

    Authors: Zhizhen Liu, Peiyun Zheng, Yong Fang, Jie Huang, Jia Huang, Liming Chen, Qiaoling Hu, Chunyan Zou, Jing Tao and Lidian Chen
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:1787
  3. This study aimed to investigate the relationships between accelerometer-measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) with physical function (PF) among older Chinese women in the community.

    Authors: Yanyu Lu, Qingqian Li, Wenbo Wang, Litao Du, Qiang He, Si Chen, Xianliang Zhang and Yang Pan
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:1754
  4. Growing evidence supports the important role of 24-hour movement behaviours (MB) in preventing childhood obesity. However, research to understand the heterogeneity and variability of MB among individuals and w...

    Authors: David Janda, Aleš Gába, Karel Hron, Lauren Arundell and Ana Maria Contardo Ayala
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:1553
  5. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report, limited evidence is available on sedentary behaviors (screen time) and their joint associations with physical activity (steps...

    Authors: Jason M. Nagata, Shayna Weinstein, Sana Alsamman, Christopher M. Lee, Erin E. Dooley, Kyle T. Ganson, Alexander Testa, Holly C. Gooding, Orsolya Kiss, Fiona C. Baker and Kelley Pettee Gabriel
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:1346
  6. The impact of changes in physical activity after ischemic stroke (IS) on the subsequent myocardial infarction (MI) risk is not fully understood. We aimed to investigate the effects of...

    Authors: Dae Young Cheon, Kyung do Han, Yeon Jung Lee, Jeen Hwa Lee, Myung Soo Park, Do Young Kim, Jae Hyuk Choi, Sook Jin Lee, Kyung-Ho Yu, Seongwoo Han, Sunki Lee and Minwoo Lee
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:1241
  7. Independent of physical activity, sedentary behavior has emerged as a significant risk factor for health. Particularly, older adults spent as high as 13 h daily on sedentary activities, which account for 98% o...

    Authors: Wilson Kin Chung Leung, Jasmine Cheung, Vivian Chin Ching Wong, Kelly Ka Lee Tse, Ruby Wing Yin Lee, Simon Ching Lam and Lorna Kwai Ping Suen
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:1201
  8. In China, the world’s largest developing country, low back pain (LBP) is a common public health issue affecting workability. This meta-analysis aimed to systematically assess the risk factors of LBP in the Chi...

    Authors: Qiang Li, Leyun Peng, Yiding Wang, Yonghui Yang and Zongbao Wang
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:1181
  9. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major global health threat, particularly in China, contributing to over 40% of deaths. While sleep behaviors, sedentary behaviors, and physical activities are recognized as in...

    Authors: Yichao Chen, Yingqian Song, Nan Zhou, Weiwei Wang and Xin Hong
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:1170
  10. There is limited evidence of the associations between postural-derived sitting time, waist-worn derived sedentary time and children’s health and the moderation effect of physical activity (PA). This study exam...

    Authors: Ana María Contardo Ayala, Nicola D. Ridgers, Anna Timperio, Lauren Arundell, David W. Dunstan, Kylie D. Hesketh, Robin M. Daly and Jo Salmon
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:1015
  11. While there is increasing evidence for negative physical health consequences of high volumes of sedentary time and prolonged sedentary time in adolescents, the association with cognition is less clear. This st...

    Authors: Veerle Van Oeckel, Louise Poppe, Benedicte Deforche, Ruben Brondeel, Marijke Miatton and Maïté Verloigne
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:495
  12. Since multidimensional barriers challenge nursing homes, a socio-ecological approach is needed for physical activity promotion in this setting. So far, little is known about how such an approach can be transfe...

    Authors: Lea-Sofie Hahn, Ansgar Thiel, Viola Dembeck, Daniel Haigis, Leon Matting, Rebekka Pomiersky, Gerhard W. Eschweiler, Andreas M. Nieß, Gorden Sudeck and Annika Frahsa
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:419
  13. Low physical activity (LPA) is linked to the risk of stroke, but the disease burden of stroke attributable to LPA needs to be understood to develop effective preventive strategies. We aim to assess spatiotemporal...

    Authors: Jun-xiao Li, Qiong-qiong Zhong, Shi-xiang Yuan and Feng Zhu
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:2242
  14. Medical costs have been rising rapidly in recent years, and China is controlling medical costs from the perspective of health insurance payments.

    Authors: Jincao Yan, Yunke Shi, Jiani Zhang, Siwei Chen, Xinran Huo, Yue Shen and Ning Zhang
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:2224
  15. Sedentary behaviour has become the new reference of living, which has paralleled the increase in the prevalence of multiple chronic diseases. Here, we highlight the evidence to date and propose specific topics...

    Authors: Joseph Henson, Marieke De Craemer and Thomas Yates
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:2048

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp.  During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Sedentary behavior and disease risk" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Guest Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Guest Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.