1| Volume 18, SUPPLEMENT 1, e1, December 2014

Move more, sit less: Reflections on behaviour change for active living and public health

      National and international guidelines suggest that we need to move more and sit less. Historical trends show that we have lost physical activity through changes to our work and travel, with similar trends producing more sitting time. To better understand how we might change such patterns, we need to understand what we do over the waking day and in what contexts. It is no longer sufficient to focus just on the 6–7% of waking time that a minority of people spend in MVPA. Instead we need to think how we can reduce the 50% of the day we currently spend being sedentary and create a larger proportion of the day in at least light physical activity, thus reducing sitting time. Behaviour change is challenging but must be guided by theories and behaviour change techniques that are appropriate to the specific behaviour and context, and acceptable to the population being targeted. In this presentation, I will discuss possible changes to sedentary and active behaviours, including self-monitoring, social norms and environmental modifications. The concept of habit will be highlighted. Underpinning the presentation will be a fundamental premise of public health–making changes across as large a population as possible. To this end, I will challenge some current thinking by suggesting that public health gains will be greater if we stop thinking that the answer to active living centres on sport and high intensity exercise!
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