Physiology of sedentary behavior and its relationship to health outcomes

John P. Thyfault, Mengmeng Du, William E. Kraus, James A. Levine, Frank W. Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Purpose This article reports on the findings and recommendations of the "Physiology of Sedentary Behavior and Its Relationship to Health Outcomes" group, a part of a larger workshop entitled Sedentary Behavior: Identifying Research Priorities sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and by the National Institute on Aging, which aimed to establish sedentary behavior research priorities. Methods The discussion within our workshop led to the formation of critical physiological research objectives related to sedentary behaviors, that is, if appropriately researched, would greatly affect our overall understanding of human health and longevity. Results and Conclusions Primary questions are related to physiological "health outcomes" including the influence of physical activity versus sedentary behavior on the function of a number of critical physiological systems (aerobic capacity, skeletal muscle metabolism and function, telomeres/genetic stability, and cognitive function). The group also derived important recommendations related to the "central and peripheral mechanisms" that govern sedentary behavior and how energy balance has a role in mediating these processes. General recommendations for future sedentary physiology research efforts indicate that studies of sedentary behavior, including that of sitting time only, should focus on the physiological effect of a "lack of human movement" in contradistinction to the effects of physical movement and that new models or strategies for studying sedentary behavior-induced adaptations and links to disease development are needed to elucidate underlying mechanism(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1301-1305
Number of pages5
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 4 2015



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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