Earlier this year I posted a short survey soliciting opinions on the creation of a new organization devoted to the study of sedentary behaviour. The response to that survey was very positive – more than 100 researchers from 6 continents completed the survey, and more than 90% supported the creation of such an organization. As a result, we have now created the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN), which aims to link researchers and practitioners interested in this emerging field.
Why a network for sedentary behaviour research?
Research into the health and societal impact of sedentary behaviour has exploded in the past 5 years. What’s more, this research is taking place in a range of academic disciplines ranging from psychology and sociology to medicine and ergonomics. One downside to such a multi-disciplinary field of study is that researchers don’t currently have a way to connect with one another. For example, we physiologists talk to other physiologists, and sociologists talk to other sociologists, but there is very little interaction between physiologists and sociologists studying different aspects of sedentary behaviour. If we are really going to improve our understanding of sedentary behaviour or advocate for evidence-based public policy, there needs to be a way to bring these researchers together. Hence, the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network.
What will SBRN do?
The respondents to our initial survey were pretty clear on what they want from SBRN, and also what they don’t want. There are already plenty of good conferences and journals that cover aspects of sedentary behaviour, so there is no need for SBRN to go down those roads for the time being. The things that people did want were a method of connecting with other sedentary behaviour researchers, a way of cataloging research, and ways to advocate for policies aimed at reducing sedentary behaviour.
Although SBRN has only existed for a few weeks, we already have several projects on the go which aim to achieve the above outcomes (with a few more coming soon). Our website contains a (soon to be searchable) database of sedentary behaviour research, which allows anyone to add studies by simply entering an article’s Pubmed ID (go try it, it’s really easy!). We also have a list-serve where members can exchange information and ask questions. As of this morning, our website also contains short study summaries written by sedentary behaviour researchers (if you are interested in writing one, you can contact us here). And we have several other projects coming down the pipeline, which I will be sharing in the near future.
How to get involved
If you are interested in the impact of television, books, computers, video games, driving, or any other form of sedentary behaviour on physical, mental or social health, then we want you to be a part of this network. You can join-up via our website at www.sedentarybehaviour.org, or by simply clicking here, and membership is free. If you could do me a personal favor, please send this info to other individuals in your personal network who you think may also be interested in joining SBRN. The more people that we can get involved, the more useful the network will be for everyone.