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Seaver Alumna Sarah Pechtl and Loan Kim Publish Paper on Languorous Behavior Among Adolescents

Seaver College alumna Sarah Pechtl (’21) and associate professor of nutritional science Loan Kim recently collaborated with Kathryn H. Jacobsen of the University of Richmond on the paper “Physical Inactivity and Sedentariness: Languorous Behavior Among Adolescents in 80 Countries,” published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The study sought to provide a more accurate representation of how few adolescents, specifically in low- and middle-income countries, meet the requirements for World Health Organization recommended health behaviors.

Rather than looking only at physical inactivity or sedentary behavior, as many studies have, the researchers looked at the combined prevalence of languorous behavior––physical inactivity and/or sedentary behavior. Physical inactivity was defined as being less than 60 minutes per day of moderate or vigorous physical activity. Being sedentary was defined as sitting for three or more hours per day outside of school and doing homework.

The researchers found that 84% of students were physically inactive, 37% were sedentary, and 91% met the definition for the concept of “languorous behavior.” The paper concludes with recommendations from the researchers on how to decrease these percentages.

“Educational and other interventions that seek to establish healthy habits for lifelong well-being will be most effective if they incorporate both physical activity promotion and sedentary behavior reduction so that both dimensions of languorous behavior are improved,” the researchers share. “School- and community-based recreational programs and safe spaces have been shown to reduce physical inactivity among youth, especially when they address the sociocultural and environmental contexts that affect physical activity levels rather than focusing primarily on individual behavior change.”

To read the full publication, visit the Journal of Adolescent Health.