The pillars of wellbeing – activity and sleep: a Q&A with Corneel Vandelanotte

BMC has recently launched a new journal entitled Journal of Activity, Sedentary and Sleep Behaviors(JASSB). The journal is inspired by the recognition of two important pillars of the 24-hour well-being, physical activity and sleep. Led by Professor Corneel Vandelanotte as the Editor-in-Chief, the journal uniquely covers these two broad subject areas and embraces the development of knowledge and research that adopts a 24-hour approach when examining or manipulating physical activity, sedentary and sleep behaviors and their effect on health. The journal’s full aims and scope can be found here. The journal is also equipped with a strong editorial board that will support the manuscript evaluating process by providing timely and quality reviews.

This is the first journal to cover both sleep research and studies on physical activity/sedentary behaviors. Why does the journal cover two areas that are traditionally more separated?
Over the last couple of years there has been a big shift in the literature, and more and more researchers are now focusing on sleep and movement behaviors from a 24-hour perspective. For example, if someone increases the time they spend being physically active, it means they will either sleep or sit less. There has been a growing realization that if all these behaviors are connected, we need to study them in combination, not in isolation, and that’s what has been happening.

Do you think the field is in need of a journal such as this? Who would be the potential readers/authors for this new journal?
Absolutely, the number of research papers that have been published in this area has grown exponentially, but up until now there hasn’t been a journal dedicated to focusing on this content. Hence, previously papers have been published in either specialized physical activity or sleep journals, or alternatively in generic behavioral and public health journals.  Physical activity researchers, sleep researchers, sedentary behavior researchers and, of course, time-use epidemiologists are all potential readers of research published in JASSB.

What kind of research does the journal want to attract/publish? What will be the prioritized topics?
The scope of JASSB is pretty broad. Any research focusing on physical activity, sedentary behavior or sleep is welcome, however research that focusses on two or more of these behaviors in combination will be prioritized. We’re interested in a range of study designs: behavioural interventions, randomised controlled trials, epidemiological studies, cross-sectional surveys, systematic reviews and compositional data analysis are all welcomed. JASSB will publish five different types of manuscripts: original research, reviews, short reports, commentaries and protocol papers.

Can you talk a bit about the editorial board?
I think JASSB has an amazing editorial board with renown experts in this area from all over the world. There is a good mix of skills with some Editorial Board members focused on (time-use) epidemiology, statistics, behavioral interventions, physiology, shift-work and more. I made sure to include researchers with a focus on sleep, as well as those with a focus on physical activity and sedentary behaviours, and then there are those that have always focused on looking at these behaviors in combination.

Any additional messages to the potential authors?
The aim of JASSB is to become a high-quality journal (not a ‘mass volume’ journal), and to have it tracked in all important databases as quickly as is realistic. Therefore, I am interested in your best and most innovative work. Starting a new journal isn’t easy, as many authors are driven by impact factors and rankings. Though if JASSB publishes good quality work from the start, then it won’t be too long before the journal will have a good impact factor and ranking.




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