Behavioral Phenotyping of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior
Despite the well-established benefits of regular physical activity for health, well-being, and weight maintenance, less than 5 percent of U.S. adults meet the recommended guidelines for moderately vigorous physical activity. After decades of research and health promotion efforts (national campaigns, school-based programs, environmental changes), there remains considerable room for improvement. Even in research or community interventions that successfully promote physical activity, there is a wide range of individual-level response and often suboptimal maintenance of activity levels.
Understanding the individual characteristics and processes that predict and explain activity level, sustained engagement in physical activity, and sedentary behavior may reveal novel targets leading to subsequent individual- and/or population-level interventions. This 1.5-day workshop will focus on behavioral and psychological factors that predict or drive human physical activity and sedentary behavior in relation to energy expenditure and weight loss/management. The interaction of these factors with other determinants such as biophysiological responses to exercise, sociocultural factors, environmental factors, genetics, and developmental (childhood through older age) stage also will be discussed. The workshop will address both determinants of normal baseline PA/SB as well as responses to interventions targeting PA/SB in the context of weight management. The scope of interventions may range from individual-level, clinic-based models to population-level (i.e., workplace or health care organization) or environmental/policy changes. Particular emphasis will be placed on factors that might serve as effective targets for interventions leading to more sustainable increases in PA and reduction in sedentary behavior.
To understand and identify promising research opportunities in behavioral and psychological phenotyping related to variation in physical activity and sedentary behavior (PA/SB) in the context of obesity prevention and treatment or weight-loss maintenance. A behavioral or psychological phenotype is defined as a pattern of behavior or set of psychological characteristics that is measurable/quantifiable and distinct and thus explains individual variation. It is understood that a phenotype is the result of the combination of the environment and what is inherited. The goal of the workshop is to identify the behavioral and/or psychological expressions (phenotypes) of this interaction that meaningfully explain individual variability in physical activity and/or sedentary behavior, as well as response to prevention or treatment. The identification of these phenotypes should improve treatment matching or point toward novel targets for more efficacious individual and population-level approaches for weight management.
John Jakicic, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; Angela Bryan, Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder
November 15, 2015