A worldwide study into the health effects of a sedentary lifestyle has been launched, looking into understanding how and why certain types of physical behaviours affect our physical health.
The study, funded by the British Heart Foundation and set to be undertaken by The University College London (UCL) and the University of Sydney will look at the physical activity and related health markers of 72,000 participants.
They will each wear an activity tracker on their thigh, which will measure how much time they spend exercising, standing up, sleeping and sat down.
The study could have a range of implications, given that many life sciences jobs, as well as other formerly office or lab-based roles, are being undertaken remotely, and many people do not have the resources to exercise that were formerly open and available.
Whilst the idea that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health is somewhat uncontroversial, as it can cause issues for the heart and circulatory system, the exact mechanics of why this is the case are not completely understood.
Part of the reason for this is based on methodology and the other part is based on the nature of previous studies.
Most of the health markers that examine physical behaviours, such as sleep quality, amount of time exercising and sitting down, were measured independently and often used self-reported figures from questionnaires.
The UCL team argue that all of these behaviours must be looked at together to see how they interact and affect our health.
The long term study will measure the health of these participants over several years, as well as any hospital visits they make.