Ottawa-led team builds worldwide consensus on healthy living research terminology
Sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity. Screen time. These words have made it into everyday conversation, but what do they actually mean and do they mean the same to everyone? In the rapidly growing field of health science, reaching consensus on the exact definition of these words is crucial. Now, a worldwide network of scientists examining the links between sedentary lifestyles and health problems such as obesity and cardiovascular disease has created a dictionary of terms to assist with research into sedentary behaviour.
“This is the world’s most extensive agreement to date on consensus definitions for researchers examining sedentary behaviour, an emerging global public health priority,” said lead author Dr. Mark Tremblay, director of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO RI) and a professor at the University of Ottawa. “There is an urgent need for clear, common and accepted terminology worldwide to facilitate the interpretation and comparison of research. We have made tremendous progress by defining terms such as physical inactivity, stationary behaviour, sedentary behaviour and screen time. These terms have already been translated into several languages for rapid global uptake.”