Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Institute for Public Health and Medicine

Program in Physical Activity & Sedentary Behavior

Physical activity and sedentary behavior are two important lifestyle influences on non-communicable disease risk and health/well-being. Physical activity is defined along a continuum that ranges from the moderate-vigorous intensity activities that characterize exercise to light-intensity activities, such as standing and walking. Sedentary behavior is defined in terms of activities that occur in a seated or reclined posture and involve minimal energy expenditure. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles are associated with most American adults not achieving the recommended levels of physical activity for health benefits and engaging in excessive bouts of prolonged sedentary behavior.

Members of this program examine the antecedents and consequences of these two health behaviors and develop/evaluate interventions for modifying these behaviors to reduce risk and improve health/well-being. Members utilize various innovative technologies to measure, intervene, and provide feedback on these two complex behaviors. Program meetings provide a forum for members to exchange ideas, compare methods and approaches, provide feedback on new proposals, and share recent findings.

Sedentary couple    Runner's legs    Man gardening

Leader of the Program in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior: 

Siobhan M Phillips, PhD

Siobhan M Phillips, PhD