Get On Up

Spring 2015

Maybe sitting isn’t pretty. A new study backed by a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will examine whether simply sitting less—rather than exercising more—can help lower people’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Elizabeth Venditti, a PhD assistant professor of psychiatry who holds a joint appointment in epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health, joins principal investigator Andrea Kriska, a PhD in epidemiology, and colleagues to track more than 300 adults age 50 and older who are likely to develop type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Subjects will attend 22 sessions about healthy living; wear pedometers; and have their weight, blood glucose, cholesterol, and activity levels objectively monitored to determine whether they are reducing their total sitting time and losing or maintaining weight.

“There are hundreds of decisions we can make that will impact how much we move,” Venditti says. “We’re trying to get people to keep better track of the chunks of time they spend sitting and come up with ways to interrupt it.”