Congratulations to the 2020 Sedentary Behavior Research Network Award Winners!

The Sedenary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN) is pleased to introduce the 2020 SBRN Annual Award winners in the following three categories:

SBRN Research Leadership Award

The SBRN Research Leadership Award is an annual award designed to honor excellence in research and/or innovative/creative scholarly activity in the field of sedentary behaviour. Qualified nominees are researchers/scholars whose research and scholarly impact on our understanding of sedentary behaviour has provided exceptional insight and impact. Nominees should also demonstrate a commitment to knowledge translation and mobilization of their research.

2020 Winner – Dr. Neville Owen

2020 SBRN Award winner - picture - Neville Owen

Dr. Neville Owen
Head, Behavioural Epidemiology Laboratory
NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Melbourne, Australia

Neville has contributed extensively to evidence-based approaches to chronic disease prevention, with original research and translational outcomes in documenting the consequences of too much sitting and investigations of how urban environments that are conducive to high volumes of sedentary behavior may compromise metabolic health. Specifically, his current program involves experimental and epidemiological analyses of underlying biological mechanisms and health consequences of sitting time, workplace and home-based intervention trials targeting sedentary behaviour reductions. He has published some 600 peer-reviewed papers and chapters, including in The Lancet, Circulation, Diabetes Care, Diabetologia, British Journal of Sports Medicine, and Obesity Reviews. He has been listed in the Thomson Reuters “World’s Most Influential Minds”, Social Sciences in 2015 and 2016, and in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers. Neville co-edited the definitive volume on sedentary behaviour and health for the world’s leading publisher in physical activity and health field (Zhu W., Owen N., Sedentary Behaviour and Health: Concepts, Evidence, Assessment and Intervention. Human Kinetics, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois; 2017; 27 chapters) and gave the opening Keynote at the first Sedentary Behavior and Health Conference at the University of Illinois in 2015. He was also invited by the American College of Sports Medicine in 2009 to provide the President’s Lecture where he gave an enlightening presentation on the topic “The Science of Sedentary Behaviour: Too Much Sitting and Too Little Exercise” which he subsequently led as an invited review (Ex Sport Sci Rev) that now has 2,213 citations. Most recently, he led the highly successful Centre of Research Excellence: Sitting Time and Chronic Disease Prevention – Measurement, Mechanisms and Interventions. The extensive achievements have now been documented in the recently published invited review for Annual Reviews of Public Health, titled “Sedentary Behavior and Public Health: Integrating the Evidence and Identifying Potential Solutions”.

SBRN Practice Leadership Award

The SBRN Practice Leadership Award is an annual award designed to recognize and celebrate an individual, group or organization who has demonstrated exceptional and sustained leadership for raising attention towards increasing trends in sedentary lifestyles and associated adverse effects of prolonged sedentary time while offering support/solutions to reduce/manage excessive sedentary time. Qualified nominees are individuals, groups or organizations who have demonstrated leadership in building awareness of the issues related to sedentary behaviours and sustained commitment towards evidence-based solutions, effective allocation of resources, knowledge translation, community engagement, and/or role-modelling (e.g., launching a comprehensive and evidence-based campaign).

2020 Winner – ParticipACTION


Not-for-Profit Organization
Toronto, Canada

ParticipACTION has a vision of “A Canada where physical activity is a vital part of everyday life.” Its mandate: “As Canada’s premier physical activity brand, ParticipACTION helps Canadians sit less and move more through innovative engagement initiatives and thought leadership.” ParticipACTION has been pursuing this vision and mandate since 1971 – approaching its 50th anniversary. When they first started, Canadians were struggling to achieve their physical activity goals. So, they showed them how 30-year-old Canadians were about as fit as 60-year-old Swedes. When the 1990’s rolled around, Hal and Joanne were there to offer easy ways to “Keep fit and have fun” through their iconic Body Break segments. Since 2007 ParticipACTION has spoken out about how our modern lives are leading to an inactivity crisis, fuelled by excessive sedentary behaviours. They have changed many Canadians’ minds about what it means to be active and the consequences of excessive sitting and screen time. They remain focussed on changing behaviour through a movement for more movement. They work with their many partners, which include sport, physical activity, recreation, organizations, government and corporate sponsors, to promote physical activity and discourage excessive sedentary behaviours, as a vital part of everyday life. They run many national campaigns and programs, including the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth (and now one for adults as well). The latest 2018 Report Card can be found here. This knowledge translation and mobilization product has been instrumental in raising awareness of excessive sedentary behaviour, and especially screen time in Canada. The 2018 Report Card had a focus on brain health. ParticipACTION has been providing such leadership in Canada for nearly 50 years.

SBRN Student/Trainee  Award

The SBRN Student/Trainee Award is intended to recognize promising students and/or young advocates/researchers/practitioners in the training phase of their career for their exemplary dedication, commitment, and contributions to the field of sedentary behaviour. Qualified nominees are students/trainees at any stage of training, including Undergraduate and Graduate students, Postdoctoral Fellows, and trainees in practice (e.g., occupational therapy, ergonomics), who have demonstrated significant involvement, initiative, and excellence by conducting innovative and impactful research across the spectrum of sedentary behaviour and/or successful knowledge translation into practice (e.g., innovative idea/approach).

2020 Winner – Ana Jéssica Pinto

2020 SBRN Award winner - picture - Ana Jessica

Ana Jéssica Pinto
PhD student
Applied Physiology & Nutrition Research Group
University of Sao Paulo – Sao Paulo, SP – Brazil

Ana is a PhD student who shows great promise in the field of sedentary behaviour research and knowledge translation and already has 22 peer-reviewed publications, including her most-recent contribution “Combating physical inactivity during the COVID-19 pandemic” in Nature Reviews Rheumatology (IF = 18.5). Her ability to respond rapidly to the clinical and scientific context of the coronavirus pandemic and produce a commentary that is of importance for clinical practice and is strongly underpinned by the science of sedentary behaviour – from behavioral, biological, epidemiological and practice perspectives – is a compelling example of Ana’s high level of expertise and overall excellence. Ana has also led several innovative research studies that significantly contribute to the field of sedentary behaviour, particularly for those with rheumatoid arthritis – a serious disabling medical condition in which conventional approaches to exercise can be contraindicated and/or unfeasible. Her first two publications in 2016 identified the impact of sedentary time and issues pertaining to measurement of sedentary time in rheumatoid arthritis. She designed and published the protocol for: “A randomized controlled trial to reduce sedentary time in rheumatoid arthritis: protocol and rationale of the Take a STAND for Health study”. She has demonstrated scientific, clinical and public-health resourcefulness, and a capacity to collaborate with other scientific disciplines and clinicians to develop innovative and impactful research studies that will provide novel insights into the effects of reducing sedentary time in clinical populations. Her contributions in the area of rheumatoid arthritis are already setting her up to be a global leader in this field. Ana has conducted additional impactful work in her native language, Portuguese. Although those works do not have the same impact globally, they have informed policies and practices in her home country of Brazil.


2020 SBRN Research Award Certificate - Neville Owen
2020 SBRN Practice Award Certificate - ParticipACTION
2020 SBRN Student Award Certificate - Ana Jessica Pinto
2020 SBRN Research Award - picture
2020 SBRN Practice award - picture
2020 SBRN Student Award - picture

Interested in nominating your colleague for a 2021 SBRN Award?

Members of SBRN can nominate candidates using the nomination form below. Nominations can be submitted at any time but must be received no later than June 1st, 2021.

Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN) Awards were established in 2019 (first recipients in 2020) and will be announced and profiled annually through the SBRN newsletter to the membership. Award winners will be recognized on the SBRN website and presented with an award and a certificate. Descriptions of the three SBRN awards are provided below.

Award Nomination Form

Nominations for all SBRN Awards must be submitted using this form below. A separate submission is required for each award nomination. Self-nominations will not be considered; however, nominees are encouraged to assist in ensuring the accuracy of details in the form. All fields are required.

If you have any questions, please contact

SBRN Practice Leadership Award (description)
SBRN Research Leadership Award (description)
SBRN Student/Trainee Award (description)



Please provide the highlights of the nominee’s contributions to the field of sedentary behavior upon which the nomination is based. Upload supporting documentation as necessary.

Please provide a short bio of the nominee.