Latest News & Research: 28 May 2019

This week: Working out for a better zzzz’s • Move to decrease liver disease risk • FILEX announces 1-day Immersive event in Brisbane

Working out for better zzzz’s

Getting more exercise than normal – or being more sedentary than usual – for one day may be enough to affect sleep later that night, according to a new study led by Penn State.

In a one-week, micro-longitudinal study, the researchers found that when teenagers got more physical activity than they usually did, they fell asleep earlier, slept longer and slept better that night.

Specifically, the team found that for every extra hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, the teens fell asleep 18 minutes earlier, slept 10 minutes longer and had about 1% greater sleep maintenance efficiency that night.

‘Adolescence is a critical period to obtain adequate sleep, as sleep can affect cognitive and classroom performance, stress, and eating behaviours’ said Lindsay Master, data scientist at Penn State; ‘Our research suggests that encouraging adolescents to spend more time exercising during the day may help their sleep health later that night.’

In contrast, the researchers also found that being sedentary more during the day was associated with worse sleep health. When participants were sedentary for more minutes during the day, they fell asleep and woke up later but slept for a shorter amount of time overall.

Orfeu Buxton, professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State, said the findings, published in Scientific Reports, help illuminate the complex relationship between physical activity and sleep.

‘You can think of these relationships between physical activity and sleep almost like a teeter totter’ Buxton said; ‘When you're getting more steps, essentially, your sleep begins earlier, expands in duration, and is more efficient. Whereas if you're spending more time sedentary, it's like sitting on your sleep health: Sleep length and quality goes down.’

While previous research suggests that adolescents need eight to ten hours of sleep a night, recent estimates suggest that as many as 73% of adolescents are getting less than eight hours.

Previous research has also found that people who are generally more physically active tend to sleep longer and have better sleep quality. But the researchers said less has been known about whether day-to-day changes in physical activity and sedentary behaviour affected sleep length and quality.

For this study, the researchers used data from 417 participants in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study, a national cohort from 20 US cities. When the participants were 15 years old, they wore accelerometers on their wrists and hips to measure sleep and physical activity for one week.

‘One of the strengths of this study was using the devices to get precise measurements about sleep and activity instead of asking participants about their own behavior, which can sometimes be skewed’ Master said; ‘The hip device measured activity during the day, and the wrist device measured what time the participants fell asleep and woke up, and also how efficiently they slept, which means how often they were sleeping versus tossing and turning.’

In addition to finding links between how physical activity affects sleep later that night, the researchers also found connections between sleep and activity the following day. They found that when participants slept longer and woke up later, they engaged in less moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary behaviour the next day.

‘This finding might be related to a lack of time and opportunity the following day’ Master said; ‘We can't know for sure, but it's possible that if you're sleeping later into the day, you won't have as much time to spend exercising or even being sedentary.’

Buxton said improving health is something that can, and should, take place over time.

‘Becoming our best selves means being more like our best selves more often’ Buxton said; ‘We were able to show that the beneficial effects of exercise and sleep go together, and that health risk behaviours like sedentary time affect sleep that same night. So if we can encourage people to engage in more physical activity and better sleep health behaviours on a more regular basis, it could improve their health over time.’

Source: Penn State University

Move to decrease liver disease risk

Physical activity, including walking and muscle-strengthening activities, were associated with significantly reduced risk of cirrhosis-related death, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2019, the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

Chronic liver disease is increasing, partly due to the obesity epidemic, and currently there are no guidelines for the optimal type of exercise for the prevention of cirrhosis-related mortality. Researchers hope these findings will help provide specific exercise recommendations for patients at risk for cirrhosis and its complications.

‘The benefit of exercise is not a new concept, but the impact of exercise on mortality from cirrhosis and from liver cancer has not yet been explored on this scale’ said Tracey Simon, MD, lead researcher on the study and instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; ‘Our findings show that both walking and strength training contribute to substantial reductions in risk of cirrhosis-related death, which is significant because we know very little about modifiable risk factors.’

Simon and her team prospectively followed 68,449 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 48,748 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, without known liver disease at baseline. Participants provided highly accurate data on physical activity, including type and intensity, every two years from 1986 until 2012, which allowed researchers to prospectively examine the association between physical activity and cirrhosis-related death.

Researchers observed that adults in the highest quintile of weekly walking activity had 73% lower risk for cirrhosis-related death than those in the lowest quintile. Further risk reduction was observed with combined walking and muscle-strengthening exercises.

Previous research has been limited to studies that assessed physical activity at just one point in time, or studies with very short-term follow-up. This was the first prospective study in a large US population to include detailed and updated measurements of physical activity over such a prolonged period, which allowed researchers to more precisely estimate the relationship between physical activity and liver-related outcomes.

‘In the US, mortality due to cirrhosis is increasing dramatically, with rates expected to triple by the year 2030. In the face of this alarming trend, information on modifiable risk factors that might prevent liver disease is needed’ said Simon; ‘Our findings support further research to define the optimal type and intensity of physical activity to prevent adverse outcomes in patients at risk for cirrhosis.’

Source: Digestive Disease Week

FILEX announces 1-day Immersive event in Brisbane

The team at fitness industry event FILEX have announced the inaugural FILEX Immersive in Brisbane, being held on Saturday 13 July 2019 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

With its Immersive Series, FILEX is expanding its reach by taking its education offering to cities across the country, other than the main event’s hometown of Sydney.

The series, powered by Fitness Australia, has been designed to offer greater opportunity for fitness professionals to deepen their knowledge and skills in the hottest and most in-demand topics.

With the slogan The Ultimate Game Plan for Growth, the single-day Brisbane summit will offer a deep-dive into how fitness professionals and business owners can build and maintain a dynamic and thriving fitness business.

The expert presenters include some of the best educators and operators in the Australian fitness industry: Nardia Norman, Dan Henderson, Jason Urbanowicz and online market leader Richard Toutounji. The day promises to explore the topic from all angles, from filling the sales funnel with more quality leads, and on-boarding members for longevity and brand loyalty, to a roundtable event.

Early bird registration is available until 22 June 2019 at

Source: FILEX