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 or Dr Nicola Paine via

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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