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      Sedentary Behaviour and Hair Cortisol Amongst Women Living in Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods: A Cross-Sectional Study

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          Women living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods are at heightened risk of experiencing psychological stress. Therefore, identifying potential risk factors for stress is important to support positive mental health. A growing body of research has linked sedentary behaviour with mental ill-health (e.g., depression and anxiety); however, little research has specifically investigated potential linkages between sedentary behaviour and stress. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the association between common types of sedentary behaviour and objectively-measured stress (as measured by hair cortisol levels) amongst women living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. During 2012–2013, 72 women (aged 18–46 years) living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods self-reported sedentary behaviour (TV viewing, computer use, overall sitting time) and provided hair samples. Hair cortisol levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Linear regression models examined cross-sectional associations between sedentary behaviour and hair cortisol levels. There was no association between any type of sedentary behaviour (TV viewing, computer use, or overall sitting time) and hair cortisol levels in either crude or adjusted models. Sedentary behaviour may not be linked to hair cortisol level (stress) in women living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Further studies utilising objective measures of both sedentary behaviour and stress are required to confirm these findings.

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          International physical activity questionnaire: 12-country reliability and validity.

          Physical inactivity is a global concern, but diverse physical activity measures in use prevent international comparisons. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was developed as an instrument for cross-national monitoring of physical activity and inactivity. Between 1997 and 1998, an International Consensus Group developed four long and four short forms of the IPAQ instruments (administered by telephone interview or self-administration, with two alternate reference periods, either the "last 7 d" or a "usual week" of recalled physical activity). During 2000, 14 centers from 12 countries collected reliability and/or validity data on at least two of the eight IPAQ instruments. Test-retest repeatability was assessed within the same week. Concurrent (inter-method) validity was assessed at the same administration, and criterion IPAQ validity was assessed against the CSA (now MTI) accelerometer. Spearman's correlation coefficients are reported, based on the total reported physical activity. Overall, the IPAQ questionnaires produced repeatable data (Spearman's rho clustered around 0.8), with comparable data from short and long forms. Criterion validity had a median rho of about 0.30, which was comparable to most other self-report validation studies. The "usual week" and "last 7 d" reference periods performed similarly, and the reliability of telephone administration was similar to the self-administered mode. The IPAQ instruments have acceptable measurement properties, at least as good as other established self-reports. Considering the diverse samples in this study, IPAQ has reasonable measurement properties for monitoring population levels of physical activity among 18- to 65-yr-old adults in diverse settings. The short IPAQ form "last 7 d recall" is recommended for national monitoring and the long form for research requiring more detailed assessment.
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            The detrimental effects of stress on human health are being increasingly recognized. There is a critical need for the establishment of a biomarker that accurately measures its intensity and course over time. Such a biomarker would allow monitoring of stress, increase understanding of its pathophysiology and may help identify appropriate and successful management strategies. Whereas saliva and urine cortisol capture real-time levels, hair cortisol analysis presents a complementary means of monitoring stress, capturing systemic cortisol exposure over longer periods of time. This novel approach for cortisol quantification is being increasingly used to identify the effects of stress in a variety of pathological situations, from chronic pain to acute myocardial infarctions. Because of its ability to provide a long-term, month-by-month measure of systemic cortisol exposure, hair cortisol analysis is becoming a useful tool, capable of answering clinical questions that could previously not be answered by other tests. In this paper we review the development, current status, limitations and outstanding questions regarding the use of hair cortisol as a biomarker of chronic stress. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                25 March 2018
                April 2018
                : 15
                : 4
                [1 ]Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Australia; dana.olstad@ (D.L.O.); anne.turner@ (A.I.T.); kball@ (K.B.)
                [2 ]Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary T2N 4Z6, AB, Canada
                [3 ]School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, VIC, 3125, Australia; sarah.costigan@
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: mteych@ ; Tel.: +61-39244-6910
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

                Brief Report

                Public health

                socioeconomic disadvantage, sitting, screen-time, psychological stress


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