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Time to stand up for your health, says USQ researcher

Walking meeting
Professor Stuart Biddle (middle) says walking meetings are a healthy option for workplaces. He is pictured with Dr Jason Bennie and George Thomas.

Imagine a school classroom where a teacher tells its students to stand at their desks. Or a company CEO who calls a ‘walking meeting’ with its staff.

These are just some of the changes in behaviours that USQ Research Program Director in Physical Activity and Health, Professor Stuart Biddle will discuss at a free public seminar at USQ Springfield on May 31.

“We all need to be mindful of the risks associated with high levels of sedentary behaviour and the changes we can make to reduce sitting time not just at home, but wherever we go,” Professor Biddle said.

“Physical activity is vital to positive health outcomes, especially for children who have an unhealthy lifestyle because they are more likely to develop a pattern of sedentary behaviour when they get older.

“Standing desks and workstations are one of the best options to combat sedentary behaviour because it not only benefits physical health, but also concentration and productivity.”

Professor Biddle is an expert in active living and public health from the perspective of behaviour change and has been highly active in the production of national guidelines for physical activity and sedentary behaviour.

He said the key message of his presentation would be that little changes in life can make a big difference.

“Moving more is good for our bodies so something as simple as using stairs instead of the lift can be most beneficial,” he said.

“Some companies are also encouraging their employees to have standing meetings rather than conventional sit-down meetings, or whenever possible take walking meetings.

“They are simple things to do and those health benefits really add up.”

Professor Biddle’s presentation, which is titled ‘Too Much Sitting and Too Little Movement: Take a Stand’, is part of USQ’s Community Research Evening: Physical and Mental Health and Wellbeing.

The presentation is one of two events to be held on the night with Terence Tracey, an award-winning professor in counselling and psychology from the Arizona State University, also presenting.

Professor Tracey’s two-hour seminar will be on the major factors in determining career choices in the sciences and how it is influenced by abilities, interests and self-efficacy.

Both events are free and open to the public.

For more information or to register for either event on May 31, visit Events.