CLOSER Seminars: Tracking differences in physical activity and sedentary behaviour ShareThis


This CLOSER Seminar featured talks from David Bann (UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies) and Mark Hamer (UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences). Presentation slides are available below.

About the CLOSER Seminars

The aim of the seminar series to highlight methodological innovations and expertise, and in turn, facilitate and encourage future collaborations and new research.


David Bann is Co-Investigator of the 1958 National Child Development study based at the UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies. He is an epidemiologist with broad interests in population health, and particular interests in health inequalities, obesity and physical activity levels.

Mark Hamer was recently appointed as Professor in Sport & Exercise Medicine at the Institute Sport, Exercise and Health (UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences). He jointly led the recent biomedical sweep of BCS70. He previously held a Chair at Loughborough University (2015-19) and was a BHF funded research fellow at UCL Epidemiology and Public Health (2004-15).


Physical activity is an important modifiable determinant of health across life. Despite public health campaigns highlighting the importance of physical activity, the prevalence of physical inactivity remains high in the UK, particularly amongst socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. However, it is unclear if these inequalities vary systematically by age, sex, or ethnicity. In the first talk, David discussed CLOSER research which uses data from six longitudinal studies to address two main objectives, to: 1) identify and document all measures of physical activity and sedentary behaviour available; and 2) test whether associations between lifetime socioeconomic position and physical activity vary by: a) age, sex and ethnicity in Understanding Society; b) age, sex and birth year in the British birth cohorts. This research is being carried out by Dr Meg Fluharty (UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies).

Download David and Meg’s presentation slides.

Sedentary behaviour is a risk factor for health although it is crudely assessed in large scale cohort studies routinely using self-report. In the second talk, Mark presented the feasibility of using a gold standard postural allocation technique to capture free-living sedentary behaviour at large scale. Thigh worn accelerometry (ActivPAL) was deployed in the recently completed biomedical sweep of BCS70; from the n=6,060 cohort members that consented to wearing the device useable data were retrieved in 85.7% of the devices fitted, with 79.6% of the sample recording at least 6 full days of wear (at least 10 waking hours). The talk will further discuss demographic and biomedical factors related to sedentary behaviour.

Download Mark’s presentation slides.


If you require any further information, or have any questions about this seminar, please contact CLOSER’s Communications and Events Officer, Jennie Blows (