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Are prolonged sitting and sleep restriction a dual curse for the modern workforce? a randomised controlled trial protocol
  1. Grace E Vincent1,
  2. Charlotte C Gupta1,
  3. Madeline Sprajcer1,
  4. Corneel Vandelanotte2,
  5. Mitch J Duncan3,4,
  6. Phil Tucker5,6,
  7. Michele Lastella1,
  8. Georgia A Tuckwell1,
  9. Sally A Ferguson1
  1. 1Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University - Adelaide Campus, Wayville, South Australia, Australia
  2. 2School of Health Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3School of Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
  4. 4Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
  5. 5Psychology Department, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom
  6. 6Stress Research Institute, Department of Psychology, Stocklholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Grace E Vincent; g.vincent{at}


Introduction Prolonged sitting and inadequate sleep are a growing concern in society and are associated with impairments to cardiometabolic health and cognitive performance. However, the combined effect of prolonged sitting and inadequate sleep on measures of health and cognitive performance are unknown. In addition, the circadian disruption caused by shiftwork may further impact workers’ cardiometabolic health and cognitive performance. This protocol paper outlines the methodology for exploring the impact of simultaneous exposure to prolonged sitting, sleep restriction and circadian disruption on cardiometabolic and cognitive performance outcomes.

Methods and analysis This between-subjects study will recruit 208 males and females to complete a 7-day in-laboratory experimental protocol (1 Adaptation Day, 5 Experimental Days and 1 Recovery Day). Participants will be allocated to one of eight conditions that include all possible combinations of the following: dayshift or nightshift, sitting or breaking up sitting and 5 hour or 9 hour sleep opportunity. On arrival to the laboratory, participants will be provided with a 9 hour baseline sleep opportunity (22:00 to 07:00) and complete five simulated work shifts (09:00 to 17:30 in the dayshift condition and 22:00 to 06:30 in the nightshift condition) followed by a 9 hour recovery sleep opportunity (22:00 to 07:00). During the work shifts participants in the sitting condition will remain seated, while participants in the breaking up sitting condition will complete 3-min bouts of light-intensity walking every 30 mins on a motorised treadmill. Sleep opportunities will be 9 hour or 5 hour. Primary outcome measures include continuously measured interstitial blood glucose, heart rate and blood pressure, and a cognitive performance and self-perceived capacity testing battery completed five times per shift. Analyses will be conducted using linear mixed models.

Ethics and dissemination The CQUniversity Human Ethics Committee has approved this study (0000021914). All participants who have already completed the protocol have provided informed consent. Study findings will be disseminated via scientific publications and conference presentations.

Trial registration details This study has been registered on Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (12619001516178) and is currently in the pre-results stage.

  • public health
  • sleep medicine
  • cardiology

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  • Contributors Conceptualisation: GEV, CV, MJD, PT and SF. Funding acquisition: GEV, CV, MJD, PT and SAF. Methodology: GEV, CCG, MS, CV, MJD, PT, ML, GT and SF. Writing—original draft: GEV, CCG and MS; Writing—review and editing: GEV, CCG, MS, CV, MJD, PT, ML, GT and SF.

  • Funding This research has received funding from the Australian Research Council (DP190101130). MJD is supported by a Career Development Fellowship (AP1141606) from the National Health and Medical Research Council

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methods section for further details.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; peer reviewed for ethical and funding approval prior to submission.

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