Professor of Health Behaviour Dynamics in the School of Health and Life Sciences, Sebastien Chastin, will deliver his online inaugural Professorial Lecture on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
His lecture entitled ‘The perfect day – a time recipe that is good for you and the planet’ will examine how much time should we spend each day exercising, resting and sleeping in order to improve human and planetary health.
Professor Chastin’s interactive presentation will take the audience through a typical day and demonstrate how the time we spend moving, travelling, working, resting and sleeping is having a profound impact on our own health and the health of our planet.
The world-renowned polymath with a unique background in physics, data science and physiotherapy, will explore how we can change our behaviour, our cities and societal systems to improve our health as we age and be kind to the planet. He will show how new technological advances and society changes have altered human activity.
He will tell how studying similarities between human movement behaviour, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, stock markets and advances in data science born in Scotland can shed light on the best ways to spend our time each day doing different activities that improve our chances of ageing healthily.
The lecture, based in the University’s Physiotherapy Department and is part of GCU’s Ageing Well research group, will be of interest to the general public, scientists, policymakers in healthcare, public health, climate and urbanism.
Professor Chastin said: “The fact that I’m a polymath gives a fresh perspective on things. Researchers have looked at individual things we can do to improve our health but no-one has really looked at the whole day and affect our behaviour is having, not only on our own health, but on our planet.
“If the doctor gives you a pill, inside you need the right cocktail of drugs to make you better. It’s the same with looking at the whole day, you need the right combination of moving, traveling, working, resting and sleeping which are going to make you optimal.
“Sitting for hours on the couch watching Netflix or streaming online videos changes your physiology very quickly and has a negative impact on your health. This kind of sedentary behaviour is associated with higher mortality rates, and greater risk of cardiovascular and non-communicable diseases. It’s also very bad for the planet because sitting watching TV or the internet for hours releases a vast amount of carbon into the atmosphere.
“We have become more and more sedentary, always trying to find ways of conserving energy, during work, education, leisure time and transportation. This is a reptilian reflex which conditions our daily behaviour and the way we design places and systems in which we live. It has become deeply ingrained in society.”