Technology to help tackle couch potato-related disease

A new technology designed to tackle sedentary lifestyles- and help reduce cases of obesity, heart disease and diabetes- is undergoing clinical trials in Scotland.

Strathclyde spin-out company, PAL Technologies, has developed the device in response to new evidence from Australia and the US that people sitting for long periods, even those who meet international guidelines for physical activity, are at increased risk of dsease.

The activPAL technology can record exactly when a patient is moving, standing or sitting down, providing important information about their physical activity levels to doctors and physiotherapists.

In addition, the company has worked with Strathclyde Professor Nanette Mutrie to enable the device to prompt users to move around when they have been sitting down for long periods.

The technology was first developed at the University of Strathclyde's Bioengineering Unit by Professor Malcolm Granat and colleagues. Professor Granat, who is now based at Glasgow Caledonian University, said:

"There is now strong scientific evidence that sedentary behaviour or 'sitting down' isn't in fact a neutral health position, it actually has a significant, negative impact.