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Genetics of Exercise and Sedentary Behaviors

Call for Papers

Regular leisure-time exercise is a key contributor to health whereas sedentary behavior is cited as one of the main causes of the observed rise in BMI and its related disorders. Despite its well-known benefits, regular leisure-time exercise behavior is increasingly replaced by sedentary behaviors, particularly in childhood and adolescence. In adulthood, the majority of people are currently not engaging in regular exercise at the recommended level. Current intervention programs still largely adopt a “one-size-fits-all” strategy that assumes that the determinants of voluntary leisure-time behaviors are the same across all individuals, and that they are mostly of social and environmental origins. This ignores the overwhelming recent evidence that genetic factors also play an important role in sedentary and exercise behaviors.

The main focus of the special issue is the contribution of genetic variation and of epigenetic effects on gene expression regulation to voluntary energy expenditure. Voluntary energy expenditure includes activities across the entire continuum of sedentary behaviors (TV, computer time, etc.) to regular vigorous leisure-time exercise activities. The special issue will become an international forum for researchers to summarize the most recent developments and findings in the field, with a special emphasis given to the experimental and observational results obtained within the last five years. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Twin and family studies of exercise and sedentary behaviors
  • Molecular genetic studies of exercise and sedentary behaviors
  • Animal studies of exercise and sedentary behaviors
  • Methodology to assess individual differences in exercise and sedentary behaviors
  • Genetic contribution to psychological or physiological determinants of exercise behavior
  • Acute and chronic effects of exercise behavior on epigenetic modification
  • Chronic effects of sedentary behavior on epigenetic modification

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal’s Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 11 October 2013
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 3 January 2014
Publication DateFriday, 28 February 2014

Lead Guest Editor

  • Eco de Geus, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU Medical Center and VU University, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Guest Editors

  • J. Timothy Lightfoot, Department of Health & Kinesiology, College of Education and Human Development, Texas A&M University, 356 Blocker Building, 4243 TAMU College Station, TX 77843, USA
  • Martine Thomis, KU Leuven-University of Leuven, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Kinesiology, Physical Activity, Sports & Health Research Group, Tervuursevest 101, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
  • Jaakko Kaprio, University of Helsinki, Mannerheimintie 172, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
  • Meike Bartels, Department of Biological Psychology, VU University, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands