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Link between sitting for too long and stress to be explored as part of study

Researchers at Loughborough University are inviting people to take part in a study that explores the link between sitting down for long periods of time (eg sedentary behaviour) and short-term stress.

The aim of the study is to see if this group of people have large physiological responses to stress -such as large increases in blood pressure.

If so, this might help to explain why they are at risk of developing certain diseases such as heart disease.

Adults between 18-60 years old - who are non-smokers and who aren’t on any medication are being asked to take part in the study which will take place in the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine on the University's campus.

Participants will be asked to attend two different sessions as part of the study.

The first session will ask people to complete a questionnaire and their blood pressure, height and weight will be taken.

Eligible participants will then be asked to wear two devices to measure how active they are over a 7-day period.

During the second session, volunteers will be asked to complete an eight-minute mental arithmetic and cycling (not maximal effort) exercise stress tasks to measure how their body responds to the activities.

Measurements will include providing saliva samples, having blood taken and having a mask fitted to measure how much oxygen and carbon dioxide is breathed in and out.

Aiden Chauntry, a PhD candidate in the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, said: “Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and key risk factors include sedentary behaviour and large physiological responses to stress.”

“We know that physically active individuals often have healthier physiological responses to stress, but we know very little about how sitting influences responses to stress. However, we do know that people who experience high stress are more likely to spend a lot of time sitting.

“Overall this research has the potential to be beneficial for public health.”

Participants must have a BMI of less than 35 Kg/m2, should be able to comfortably complete a cycling task and should not have any existing conditions or diseases. The researchers are especially interested in hearing from less active people.

Interested participants should contact Aiden Chauntry via A.J.Chauntry@lboro.ac.uk or Dr Nicola Paine via N.J.Paine@lboro.ac.uk.

Participants of the study will be entered into a prize draw to win an Amazon voucher. A voucher will also be awarded to the best performing participant in the mental arithmetic task.

Participants can also find out lots of interesting information about their body (e.g. how active their immune system is during stress).

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

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