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Thorp A.A.,Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute | Thorp A.A.,Monash University | Kingwell B.A.,Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute | Kingwell B.A.,Monash University | And 9 more authors.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Objectives: To examine whether the introduction of intermittent standing bouts during the workday using a height-adjustable workstation can improve subjective levels of fatigue, musculoskeletal discomfort and work productivity relative to seated work. Methods: Overweight/obese office workers (n=23; age 48.2±7.9 years, body mass index 29.6±4 kg/m2) undertook two, 5-day experimental conditions in an equal, randomised (1:1) order. In a simulated office environment, participants performed their usual occupational tasks for 8 h/day in a: seated work posture (SIT condition ); or interchanging between a standing and seated work posture every 30 min using an electric, height-adjustable workstation (STAND-SIT condition). Self-administered questionnaires measuring fatigue, musculoskeletal discomfort and work productivity were performed on day 5 of each experimental condition. Results: Participants' total fatigue score was significantly higher during the SIT condition (mean 67.8 (95% CI 58.8 to 76.7)) compared with the STAND-SIT condition (52.7 (43.8 to 61.5); p<0.001). Lower back musculoskeletal discomfort was significantly reduced during the STAND-SIT condition compared with the SIT condition (31.8% reduction; p=0.03). Despite concentration/focus being significantly higher during the SIT condition ( p=0.006), there was a trend towards improved overall work productivity in favour of the STAND-SIT condition (p=0.053). Conclusions: Transitioning from a seated to a standing work posture every 30 min across the workday, relative to seated work, led to a significant reduction in fatigue levels and lower back discomfort in overweight/obese office workers, while maintaining work productivity. Future investigations should be directed at understanding whether sustained use of height-adjustable workstations promote concentration and productivity at work. Trial Registration Number: ACTRN12611000632998. © 2014, BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved. Source

Frazer A.,Institute of Sport | Williams J.,Institute of Sport | Spittles M.,Institute of Sport | Rantalainen T.,Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research
Muscle and Nerve

Introduction: We examined the cumulative effect of 4 consecutive bouts of noninvasive brain stimulation on corticospinal plasticity and motor performance, and whether these responses were influenced by the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) polymorphism. Methods: In a randomized double-blinded cross-over design, changes in strength and indices of corticospinal plasticity were analyzed in 14 adults who were exposed to 4 consecutive sessions of anodal and sham transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Participants also undertook a blood sample for BDNF genotyping (N = 13). Results: We observed a significant increase in isometric wrist flexor strength with transcranial magnetic stimulation revealing increased corticospinal excitability, decreased silent period duration, and increased cortical voluntary activation compared with sham tDCS. Conclusions: The results show that 4 consecutive sessions of anodal tDCS increased cortical voluntary activation manifested as an improvement in strength. Induction of corticospinal plasticity appears to be influenced by the BDNF polymorphism. Muscle Nerve, 2016 © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Healy G.N.,University of Queensland | Healy G.N.,Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute | Healy G.N.,Curtin University Australia | Winkler E.A.H.,University of Queensland | And 12 more authors.
European Heart Journal

Aims While excessive sitting time is related adversely to cardio-metabolic health, it is unknown whether standing is a suitable replacement activity or whether ambulatory movement is required. Using isotemporal substitution analyses, we modelled cross-sectional associations with cardio-metabolic risk biomarkers of reallocating time (2 h/day) from sitting to standing or to stepping. Methods and results A subsample of participants from the 2011/12 Australian Diabetes, Obesity, and Lifestyle Study wore the posture-based activPAL3 monitor [36-80 years (mean 57.9, SD 9.9 years); 57% women; n = 698 with data]. Associations of activPAL3-derived mean daily time sitting/lying (sitting), standing and stepping with body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, HbA1c, fasting glucose and lipids (high-density lipoprotein-, HDL, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, total/HDL-cholesterol ratio, and triglycerides), and 2-h plasma glucose were examined. Adjusted for relevant confounders, sitting-to-standing reallocations were only significantly (P < 0.05) associated with approximately 2% lower fasting plasma glucose, 11% lower triglycerides, 6% lower total/HDL-cholesterol ratio, and 0.06 mmol/L higher HDL-cholesterol per 2 h/day. Sitting-to-stepping reallocations were only significantly associated with approximately 11% lower BMI, 7.5 cm lower waist circumference, 11% lower 2-h plasma glucose, 14% lower triglycerides, and 0.10 mmol/L higher HDL-cholesterol per 2 h/ day, while standing-to-stepping reallocations were only significantly associated with ∼10% lower BMI, 7 cm lower waist circumference, and 11% lower 2-h plasma glucose. Conclusion Findings suggested that sitting-reduction strategies targeting increased standing, stepping, or both, may benefit cardio-metabolic health. Standing is a simple alternative to sitting, and requires further examination in prospective and intervention studies. © The Author 2015. Source

Garrett N.,Auckland University of Technology | Garrett N.,Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research | Schluter P.J.,Auckland University of Technology | Schluter P.J.,The New School | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Physical Activity and Health

Background: A minority of adults in developed countries engage in sufficient physical activity (PA) to achieve health benefits. This study aims to identify modifiable perceived resources and barriers to PA among New Zealand adults. Methods: Secondary analysis of a 2003 nationally representative cross-sectional mail survey, stratified by region, age, and ethnicity, and analyzed utilizing ordinal logistic regression. Results: Overall, n = 8038 adults responded to the survey, of whom 49% met updated guidelines for sufficient PA. Perceived accessibility of local resources was associated with PA; however, for some resources there was more awareness among individuals whose predominant activity was not commonly associated with that resource (eg, health clubs and walkers). Perceived local environmental barriers demonstrated negative (steep hills, crime, dogs) and positive (unmaintained footpaths) associations. The absence of perceived environmental barriers was strongly associated with increased activity, suggesting the number of barriers may be a critical factor. Conclusion: Complex relationships between perceptions of local environments and activity patterns among adults were found. Although complex, these results demonstrate positive associations between awareness of resources and perceived lack of barriers with being sufficiently physically active for health. Therefore, investments in provision and/or promotion of local resources have the potential to enable active healthy communities. © 2012 Human Kinetics, Inc. Source

Lioret S.,Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research | Campbell K.J.,Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research | Crawford D.,Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research | Spence A.C.,Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

Background: The diets, physical activity and sedentary behavior levels of both children and adults in Australia are suboptimal. The family environment, as the first ecological niche of children, exerts an important influence on the onset of children's habits. Parent modeling is one part of this environment and a logical focus for child obesity prevention initiatives. The focus on parent's own behaviors provides a potential opportunity to decrease obesity risk behaviors in parents as well.Objective: To assess the effect of a parent-focused early childhood obesity prevention intervention on first-time mothers' diets, physical activity and TV viewing time.Methods: The Melbourne InFANT Program is a cluster-randomized controlled trial which involved 542 mothers over their newborn's first 18 months of life. The intervention focused on parenting skills and strategies, including parental modeling, and aimed to promote development of healthy child and parent behaviors from birth, including healthy diet, increased physical activity and reduced TV viewing time. Data regarding mothers' diet (food frequency questionnaire), physical activity and TV viewing times (self-reported questionnaire) were collected using validated tools at both baseline and post-intervention. Four dietary patterns were derived at baseline using principal components analyses including frequencies of 55 food groups. Analysis of covariance was used to measure the impact of the intervention.Results: The scores of both the "High-energy snack and processed foods" and the "High-fat foods" dietary patterns decreased more in the intervention group: -0.22 (-0.42;-0.02) and -0.25 (-0.50;-0.01), respectively. No other significant intervention vs. control effects were observed regarding total physical activity, TV viewing time, and the two other dietary patterns, i.e. " Fruits and vegetables" and " Cereals and sweet foods" .Conclusions: These findings suggest that supporting first-time mothers to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors in their infants impacts maternal dietary intakes positively. Further research needs to assess ways in which we might further enhance those lifestyle behaviors not impacted by the InFANT intervention. © 2012 Lioret et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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