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Approved Research

Optimisation of time use for health and wellbeing

Principal Investigator: Dr Dorothea Dumuid
Approved Research ID: 62254
Approval date: November 25th 2020

Lay summary

Aims: We aim to describe the Goldilocks Day - the day where the mix of activity (sleep, sedentary time and physical activity) is "just right" for optimal overall health.

Scientific Rationale: We will use analytical models to determine the best durations of sleep, sedentary time, light physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity) for a comprehensive range of health and wellbeing outcomes (e.g., blood pressure, body fat, depression, cognition). The optimal mix of activities is likely to differ across health and wellbeing outcomes, meaning that changing time use to improve one outcome may inadvertently worsen other outcomes. To arrive at a Goldilocks Day for overall health and wellbeing, there will need to be compromises. We will find the best compromises according to hierarchies that indicate how people prioritize of health/wellbeing outcomes.

Project duration: 3 years

Public health impact: The findings will provide evidence to support public health guidelines for recommended daily durations of physical activity, sleep and sedentary time. The findings will be implemented in an online intervention tool that enables the customization of recommendations for activity durations based on an individual's health priorities (e.g., optimized for mental health above physical health), and constraints (the user could choose to keep sleep duration constant and modify waking activities only).

NEW SCOPE (extension of current scope)

  1. Optimal 24-hour time use is is likely to depend on dietary intake - we would like to explore how diet and time use are inter-related and to describe optimal time use for different dietary compositions/intake patterns in relation to health outcomes.
  2. Optimal 24-hour time use is likely to differ for different population groups, characterised by factors such as age or life stage, disease status, and current activity, sleep and sedentary behaviour levels. We would like to describe and compare 24-h time use for/among these sub-populations, to ensure that our estimates of optimal time use are feasible and relevant for such populations.