SUFHA – Stand Up For Healthy Aging

This project was awarded seed funding from the FAZER+ of the Universidade Lusófona.


The impact of introducing sit-stand desks in the workplace for a healthier transition to retirement: a randomized controlled trial in sedentary adults

Principal investigator

Pedro Júdice (CIDEFES)

Other investigators

Marlene Nunes Silva (CIDEFES)

António Labisa Palmeira (CIDEFES)

Patrícia Cativo Viegas (COW)

Jorge Oliveira (HEI-Lab)

Isabel Figueiredo dos Santos (HEI-Lab)

Filipe Luz (HEI-Lab)

Sara Pereira (CIDEFES)

Inês Santos (CIDEFES)

Sabrina Teno (CIDEFES)


24 months


A new body of evidence has been recognizing the existence of a paradigm shift in understanding chronic disease risk, in which sedentary behaviour and related
accumulation patterns, independent of physical activity levels, has detrimental
health effects. Recent international recommendations started incorporating this
new paradigm shift that we envision, but no specific recommendations are yet
available, and one reason for the absence of recommendations for sedentary
behaviour is the scarce evidence based on prospective and randomized controlled trials (RCT).

The rationale for this project is within the societal challenge (Portugal 2020) of
healthy aging. Additionally, the transition to retirement has been shown to be a
critical period of life that requires adults to reorganise their normal routines. This project aims to help them to do the best choices by incorporating healthier habits in their final working years with the expectation that those habits can help them to maintain a lower level of sedentariness in a posterior period in which they will be without the sit-standing desks, as it will happen during the retirement period.
1) Our main goal will be to conduct a 6-month randomized controlled trial, to
investigate the impact of introducing sit-stand desks in adult workers’ sedentary patterns.
2) We also aim to examine the effects of using these sit-stand desks while at work for 6 months on body composition, dietary intake, health-related outcomes, productivity, and quality of life.
3) Finally, we aim to understand if the healthier habits concerning the patterns of sedentary time accumulation during the intervention can be maintained in a
3 month follow up period, without the sit-stand desks, in comparison to a control group.


This project was awarded Horizon Europe funding in September 2022.


A Youth-centred Preventive Action Approach towards co-created implementation of
socially and Physically activating Environmental interventions


Participants’ number and short name | Participants’ institution and leader name | Type | Country

1 VUmc Stichting VUmc Mai Chin A Paw (f) AC NL
2 ALEX Stichting Alexander Ivet Pieper (f) NGO NL
3 SDU University of Southern Denmark Jasper Schipperijn (m) AC DK
4 AAK Aalborg Kommune Denise Bakholm (f) GOV DK
5 WITS University of the Witwatersrand Catherine Draper (f) AC ZA
6 WHC Wits Health Consortium Lisa Ware (f) AC ZA
7 RUN Redeemer’s University Adewale Oyeyemi (m) AC NG
8 VARCE Value Re-Orientation for Community Enhancement Ademola Adebisi (m) NGO NG
9 ITM Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde Sara Van Belle (f) AC BE
10 COFAC Cooperativa de Formacao e Animacao Cultural CRL António Palmeira (m) AC PT


36 months, 2023-2025


A vast majority of teenagers do not meet guidelines for healthy movement behaviours (i.e. physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep), posing major risks for developing multiple non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Sustainable implementation of lifestyle interventions focused on teenagers is a key challenge.
YoPAAPE aims to tailor, implement and evaluate social and physical environmental interventions for structural improvement in the lifestyle of teenagers (12-18 years) in vulnerable life situations to reduce their NCD risk.
YoPAAPE introduces teen-centred, evidence-informed co-creation to tackle the complex real-world challenge of unhealthy lifestyles and health inequalities. In urban environments in HICs (DK, NL) and LMICs (NG, ZA), we will engage teenagers and other key stakeholders in local co-creation communities. Together with academic researchers and local stakeholders, teenagers will be central in 1) mapping the local system, including needs and opportunities; 2) tailoring interventions to the local context; 3) implementing, and 4) evaluating interventions guided by our novel SUPER-AIM framework assessing local Systems, User perspective, Participatory co-creation process, Reach, Effects, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance of interventions in an integrated manner.
All results will be integrated in an open access YoPAAPE toolbox targeted at researchers, public health practitioners and authorities, policy makers, and citizens. YoPAAPE will establish an infrastructure for teen-centred co-creation including capacity building, mentoring, and participation of teenagers as leaders and co-researchers. This infrastructure will nurture sustainable implementation of teenager-responsive preventive interventions tailored to the local context, improving their agency, movement behaviours and wellbeing, ultimately halting the rise of NCDs and associated healthcare costs.