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Student research project

Supervisors: Professor David Dunstan

Project summary

Diabetes is a National Health Priority area and the sixth leading cause of death in Australia. Currently 280 Australians develop diabetes every day – that is one person every five minutes.

This project will be the first rigorously controlled field-based trial to examine the effects of reducing and breaking up prolonged sitting time on glycaemic control in office workers with T2D. It draws and builds on two main strands of our research.

  1. Our world-leading Stand Up Australia program of studies, which have demonstrated substantial (>1.3 hrs/16hr day) reductions in overall sitting time in general adult working populations using multi-component interventions similar to what we propose here.
  2. The findings from our laboratory studies showing that substantial (↓ 39%) reductions in postprandial glucose (PPG; a significant contributor to overall glycaemic control — HbA1c) can be acutely [1-day] achieved by reducing and interrupting prolonged sitting time.

Aims

  1. To determine, in an RCT with a usual-care control condition, the efficacy of a 6-month multicomponent intervention incorporating tailored health coaching, a sit-stand desktop workstation, and Smartphone-based self-monitoring and behavioural prompting tool on:
    • overall sitting time (primary outcome)
    • glycosylated haemoglobin (primary outcome)
    • other cardiometabolic risk markers (secondary outcomes).
  2. To conduct an economic evaluation of the cost savings that could be achieved.

This project is suitable for a PhD student and will include human research, interventions, data analysis and statistics.

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Student research opportunities

Beginning your research career with one of Australia's largest medical research institutes provides unique opportunities for Masters, Honours and PhD students.

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