Is it time to have quantitative targets for sedentary behaviour guidelines?

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Today’s post comes from Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput from Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute and University of Ottawa.

In the March 2020 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, we discuss the idea that providing quantitative recommendations on reducing sedentary behaviour is not premature, is needed, is low risk and is important for public health ( We argue that not drawing a line in the sand for sedentary behaviour guidelines is doing a disservice to public health considering the health risks of excessive sedentary behaviour. In contrast, Stamatakis and colleagues argue for a cautionary approach, with more scientific evidence before making such quantitative claims for sedentary behaviour (

At the very least, this healthy debate is certainly important for the field and it is only a matter of time before we see “line in the sand” quantitative recommendations for sedentary behaviour in public health guidelines.

The full-text discussion article titled “Public health guidelines on sedentary behaviour are important and needed: a provisional benchmark is better than no benchmark at all” is available here.

About the author


Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput is a Research Scientist with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity (HALO) Research Group at CHEO Research Institute and Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada. His current research interests include: i) childhood obesity; ii) sleep; iii) physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health; and iv) the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Chaput is well-known nationally and internationally as the expert in these areas. More information can be found on his profile page.

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