Study Diary "Sedentary Mood-Study"
Sedentary Behavior Study
The following article continues our series on "Sedentary Mood-Studies". Throughout the series we'll take you through a course of sedentary behavior studies, describing the process from planning to results. We'll start with the process of capturing the necessary data to examine the link between sedentary behavior and mood. To do this, we'll detail a particular sedentary behavior study to illustrate the idea.
Part 2: Recording mood and sedentary behavior data
When studying sedentary behavior, it's important to select a time frame that provides enough data to analyse. In this case, the researcher chose a five day period in an ambulatory setting to capture data in everyday life. Over this five day period participants received mood assessments several times per day, and had their activity recorded during waking hours.
To capture the participants mood, it's necessary to use an experience sampling method. For this study, the android based experience sampling app movisensXS displayed the short version of the "Multidimensional Mood Questionnaire (MDMQ)" at random intervals. The MDMQ measures the mood in three dimensions - Valence, Energetic Arousal, and Calmness - and was specifically conceptualized for ambulatory studies (see Wilhelm and Schoebi, 2007, p. 259ff.)
Whilst there's no technical device that captures sedentary behavior (see Kang and Rowe, 2015, p.113), the activity sensor serves as the de facto research instrument of choice. Given the abundance of fitness trackers on the market, it's often tempting to purchase inexpensive devices in order to obtain more data points. However, for research grade data it's important to use research grade devices. Whilst that may mean fewer devices and fewer participants, the quality of the data more than compensates.
The Sedentary Behavior Research Network (SBRN, 2017) defines Sedentary Behavior as: "Sedentary behavior is any waking behavior characterized by an energy expenditure ≤1.5 metabolic equivalents (METs), while in a sitting, reclining or lying posture". So in order to obtain an optimal recording, we need to evaluate both body position and energy expenditure.