Automatic and controlled processes in the regulation of daily health-related behavior

Sedentary time is a health risk factor distinct from physical inactivity. On average, people spend between six and eight hours per day in sedentary behaviors. It is not well understood why people spend more or less time sedentary. Recent theoretical approaches suggest that health behavior is regulated via two different pathways: controlled and automatic processes. It can be assumed that sedentary behaviors are regulated to a large extent automatically in daily life as these behaviors are often ‘invisible’, they are a subcomponent of actions such as working, talking, reading etc. The aim of the research project is to investigate the role of automatic processes in the regulation of sedentary behavior. In a first step, two studies will investigate 1) the relationship between automatic evaluations of sitting vs. standing with the behavioral choice of sitting vs. standing and 2) the role of automaticity in regulating daily sitting episodes using and ambulatory assessment design.

Project Team

Martina Kanning

Christina Niermann