Research

Webble

It’s not about exercise, it’s about regular movement.

All movement is beneficial.

Dr Darren Webb (PhD),  Co-founder of Webble Guys

The following resources on physical activity (or lack of it) clearly demonstrate the benefits of staying regularly active in a variety of environments at all stages of life.  Research shows that sitting at a desk all day can have a serious impacts upon your health and for those who don’t do much exercise – if any – the health risks are even worse.

Even having a sit-stand desk will do little to offset this health risk, after all, standing is not exercise.  Read the latest research here.

Giving otherwise sedentary people in a variety of environments a chance to be more physically active, leading to less chronic disease and better quality of life for people everywhere, is why we created WebbleMove!

Physical Activity and Inactivity Guidelines

Australian Government – Department of Health

Exercise and physical activity in Australia (2020)

A Federal Government resource outlining:

  • Some of the key guidelines for physical activity and sedentary behaviour at various age stages
  • Links to initiatives and programs
  • Resources

Australian Government – Department of Health

National Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep Recommendations for Children and Young People (5-17 years)

The physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep guidelines for Australian children and young people are as follows:

Physical activity

  • Accumulating 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day involving mainly aerobic activities.
  • Several hours of a variety of light physical activities;
  • Activities that are vigorous, as well as those that strengthen muscle and bone should be incorporated at least 3 days per week.
  • To achieve greater health benefits, replace sedentary time with additional moderate to vigorous physical activity, while preserving sufficient sleep.

Sedentary behaviour

  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.
  • Limit sedentary recreational screen time to no more than 2 hours per day.
  • When using screen-based electronic media, positive social interactions and experiences are encouraged.

Sleep

  • An uninterrupted 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night for those aged 5–13 years and 8 to 10 hours per night for those aged 14–17 years.
  • Have consistent bed and wake-up times.

Australian Government – Department of Health

Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years)  

The physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines for Australian adults are as follows:

Physical activity

  • Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
  • Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
  • Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.

Sedentary behaviour guidelines

  • Minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.

Australian Government – Department of Health

Physical Activity Recommendations for Older Australians (65 years and older)

The physical activity recommendations for older Australians are as follows:

  1. Older people should do some form of physical activity, no matter what their age, weight, health problems or abilities.
  2. Older people should be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
  3. Older people should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.
  4. Older people who have stopped physical activity, or who are starting a new physical activity, should start at a level that is easily manageable and gradually build up the recommended amount, type and frequency of activity.
  5. Older people who continue to enjoy a lifetime of vigorous physical activity should carry on doing so in a manner suited to their capability into later life, provided recommended safety procedures and guidelines are adhered to.

Global Observatory of Physical Activity (GoPA)

1st Physical Activity Almanac (2016)

GoPA represents a global collaboration of internationally renowned public health researchers and advocates whose collective mission is to:

  • Globally reduce physical inactivity among adults.
  • Reduce the proportions of coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer, and premature deaths worldwide that are attributable to physical inactivity by 10%, and
  • Increase the proportion of peer-reviewed scientific publications on physical activity  from low-income and middle-income countries by 10%.

In 2016, the GoPA published the 1st Physical Activity Almanac which brings together the resources of 130 country contacts to amalgamate an evidence base to offer policy guidance, physical activity programs and future surveillance around the world.

National and Global Health Status Publications

Australian Government – Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

ABS BETA Website and the ABS 2017-18 National Health Survey (NHS)

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s 2017-18 National Health Survey (NHS), only 1.9% of 15-17 year olds, 15.0% of 18-64 year olds and 17.2% of 65 year olds and over met the 2014 Physical Activity Guidelines in 2017-18.  (Published: December 2018).

Australian Government – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)

AIHW Website and Australia’s Health 2020

The AIHW produces authoritative statistical information to inform and support policy and service delivery decision making, leading to better health and wellbeing for all Australians.  They offer data to communicate the interaction of factors known as the social determinants of health and their impacts on individual health and wellbeing.  Australia’s health 2020 (Published: July 2020) is the AIHW’s 17th biennial report on the health of Australians and serves as a ‘report card’on the health of Australians by looking at how we are faring as a nation.

World Health Organisation (WHO)

WHO Website, Physical Activity Fact Sheets and information on Noncommunicable Disease

Global health information including physical activity fact sheets which include the global recommendations for physical activity (Published: February 2018).  The WHO also provides comprehensive information on Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which include heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, that are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide.  Physical activity is a proven effective strategy against developing increased risks for such conditions.

Important Research Publications

Peter T Katzmarzyk, Timothy S Church, Cora L Craig and Claude Bouchard (2009)

Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer

Landmark study showing dose-response association between sitting time and mortality from all causes and cardiovascular disease, independent of leisure time physical activity.  Also advocates for discouragement of sitting for extended periods.

J Lennert Veerman, Genevieve N HealyLinda J CobiacTheo VosElisabeth A H Winkler, Neville Owen and David W Dunstan (2012)

Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis

An Australian study identifying the unfavourable health outcomes (particularly cardiovascular disease) associated with prolonged television (TV) viewing time and decreases in life expectancy.  Compared to a person who watches no TV, those who watch a lifetime average of 6 h/day can expect to live 4.8 years less on average, similarly every hour of TV viewed after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

I-Min Lee, Eric J Shiroma, Felipe Lobelo, Pekka Puska, Steven N Blair and Peter T Katzmarzyk (2011)

Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy

An analysis of population-based burden of disease related to physical inactivity and how reductions could decrease non-communicable diseases.  This publication also conservatively estimates gains in life expectancy as a result of increased PA uptake within the population.

Paul Crosland, Jaithri Ananthapavan, Jacqueline Davison, Michael Lambert and Rob Carter (2019)

The economic cost of preventable disease in Australia: a systematic review of estimates and methods

A literature review of 18 studies on the economic burden of preventable disease in Australia, as it relates to directly attributable health care costs, other costs to government and reduced productivity.  Three studies specifically integrated financial impacts of physical inactivity and two offered scenario analysis estimating the impact of improvements in physical activity.

Sit-Stand Desks - Standing Is Not Exercise

 
Journal Publication
 

This scoping review (of 53 articles) examined the effects of a sit-stand desk in the following domains: behaviour (time sitting and standing), physiological, work performance, psychological, discomfort, and posture.  “The study found only minimal impacts on any of those areas, the strongest being changes in behavior and discomfort.”  These changes only mildly effect health outcomes.

 
Journal Publication
 

A great New York Times article (supported by evidence) that contextualises the global popularity of sit-stand desks as a means to ineffectively address prolonged sitting within the office workplace.  While they do offer postural variations, there is no scientific evidence to indicate they improve cardiovascular health.

An underpinning journal article went further in saying that health and safety professionals should not recommend to sedentary employees that they should increase their occupational standing as a means to improve their cardiovascular health.

There needs to be realisation that standing is not health benefiting exercise.

Laura E Finch, A Janet Tomiyama and Andrew Ward (2017)

Taking a Stand: The Effects of Standing Desks on Task Performance & Engagement

This research examined the reading comprehension and creativity of 96 workers while sitting and standing.  Body position was not found to affect their comprehension or performance, nor perceptions of task effort or difficulty.  Worker mood was unaffected apart from a few minor exceptions regarding task engagement (interest, enthusiasm and alertness) and reported greater discomfort compared to sitting. It concluded that “performance and psychological experience as related to task completion were nearly entirely uninfluenced by acute (~30-min) standing desk use.”

Active Office Podcast - Featuring Dr Darren Webb of Webble Guys (2019)

Active Office Podcast

…a podcast that covers the everyday activity that adds years to your life and life to your years, with hosts Olli Tikkanen and Lawrence Smith.

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