Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Building Research & Information: Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and the Indoor Built Environment
‘Active Design’ is a growing field that seeks to create environments that stimulate greater physical activity and discourage continuous and long periods of sedentary behaviour. The field is concerned with the significant increase in obesity that brings in its wake many health problems, particularly related to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and premature death. The health benefits of physical activity are well documented, with strong evidence of the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the prevention of several chronic diseases and premature death.
Strong medical research evidence indicates sedentary lifestyles have negative health consequences. This evidence has been instrumental in informing guidelines on minimum recommended physical activity, usually expressed as an average daily step count for adults, or a minimum duration of weekly aerobic activity at moderate or high level. However, it is known that most adults and many children do not meet the recommended levels. Sitting time is also independently associated with poor health outcomes.
In parallel with the rise of obesity, people are spending an increased proportion of their waking hours within buildings. Although the common focus of active design has been the urban environment and transportation modes, this special issue asks whether, and to what extent, the indoor built environment can stimulate greater physical activity and avoid excessive sedentary behaviours for its occupants. In doing so, it seeks to identify evidence on the links between indoor built environments, physical activity and sedentary behaviour. An opportunity exists to explore the use of the indoor environment as a stimulus for greater physical movement (i.e. light to moderate activity level) and for reduced sedentary behaviour (prolonged sitting or lying down) than current norms. Such opportunity must be explored taking into account the interplay between the physical environment (e.g. building layout or furniture), physiological/behavioural/psychological factors (at the individual level) and any relevant organisational/management approaches.
This special issue will appeal to researchers, policymakers devising building codes or public health interventions, to the wider real estate, construction and design industries, to the HR, occupational health, sports science, public health and physical activity communities. It aims to address the following questions:
To what extent does the indoor built environment play an important and independent role (e.g. in comparison with outdoor environments) in enabling, instigating or preventing physical activity and sedentary behaviour, both in the general population and within specific populations (e.g. children, older people, office workers, etc.)?
What are the most effective intervention strategies for improving physical activity and sedentary behaviour outcomes within indoor environments, and to what extent can physical changes to the environment (e.g. layout, furniture, temperature) be offset by personal or organisational factors?
Are there any positive or negative unintended consequences of changing the indoor environment for greater physical activity and reduced sedentary behaviour?
What are the barriers (e.g. cost; management; feedback; time; work/home behaviours; occupants’ perceptions, motivations, expectations, behaviours, habits and practices) for greater ‘active design’ of buildings and how could they be overcome?
A wide range of papers is sought in response to this theme, particularly those with a multi- and trans-disciplinary approach. In particular, papers that will:
examine and evaluate the relative importance of indoor environments in comparison with outdoor environments, within the context of physical activity and sedentary behaviour related to domestic and non-domestic environments
provide evidence of physical activity and sedentary behaviour trends over time within different populations, and within different building types – e.g. workplaces, schools, health facilities, housing
describe the results of interventions (physical or management or those initiated by occupants themselves) designed to change levels of physical activity and/or sedentary behaviour within existing buildings. This may take the form of building-related interventions (e.g. changes to layout, furniture, environmental parameters such as temperature) and/or take into account the role of building features within wide-ranging intervention campaigns
evaluate the effect of moving to new or refurbished buildings that have been designed to promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour amongst occupants
examine the relative impact of different variables (demographics, building design, interior layout, furniture, and management, external influences) on physical activity and/or sedentary behaviour
indicate any unintended consequences (e.g. on productivity, accessibility), whether positive or negative, of changing physical activity and sedentary behaviour levels within buildings – including any adverse effects on particular populations (older people, mobility impaired, etc.)
offer methods for (1) evaluating physical activity and sedentary behaviour within buildings and (2) evaluating the physical building design
estimate the relative cost of any changes in building specification and public health benefits
report on occupants’ practices, behaviours, perceptions and responses to these interventions in terms of their overall acceptance, ‘comfort’ and well-being
You are invited to submit an abstract for a journal paper in this special issue of Building Research and Information. In the first instance, please send a 500 word (maximum) abstract to the guest editor: Marcella Ucci email@example.com by Monday 7th April 2014. Abstracts will be reviewed by the editors to ensure a varied, yet integrated selection of papers around the topic of the special issue. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit a full paper (of approximately 6,000 words), which will be subject to a double-blind review process.
Deadline for abstract submission: 07 April 2014
Decisions on abstracts sent to authors: 25 April 2014
Authors’ full papers due: 15 September 2014
Building Research & Information (BRI) is a leading international refereed journal focused on buildings and their supporting systems. Unique to BRI is a holistic, transdisciplinary approach to buildings and the complexity of issues involving the built environment with other systems over the course of their life.
Guest Editor: Alexi Marmot , The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Guest Editor: Marcella Ucci, The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London (email@example.com)
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Lorch (firstname.lastname@example.org)