Dr Paul Gardiner

NHMRC Research Fellow

Centre for Health Services Research
Faculty of Medicine

Affiliate Research Fellow

Mater Research Institute-UQ
Faculty of Medicine
p.gardiner@sph.uq.edu.au
+61 7 3176 6420

Overview

My PhD was focused on understanding and influencing sedentary behaviour in older adults and I continue to develop this program of research with colleagues in Australia and internationally. I am currently a NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow in the Centre for Geriatric Medicine (CRGM) within the School of Medicine.

My research within CRGM will focus on relationships between prolonged sitting and dementia. I use data from a number of cohort studies including the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH) and the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study. Self-report and objective data from these studies will allow for investigation of whether total or domain specific sitting time is associated with cognitive function and dementia. Another stream of research focuses on reducing prolonged sitting in older adults and those with chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Previous research areas have included evaluation of drug and alcohol treatment services, development and dissemination of parenting programs, the epidemiology of stillbirth and research on ageing.

Research Interests

  • Understanding how sitting time is related to cognitive function and dementia
  • Interventions to reduce and change sitting time
  • Measurement of sitting time

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

  • Copeland , Jennifer L., Ashe, Maureen C., Biddle, Stuart J. H., Brown, Wendy J., Buman, Matthew P., Chastin, Sebastien, Gardiner, Paul A., Inoue, Shigeru, Jefferis, Barbara J., Oka, Koichiro, Owen, Neville, Sardinha, Luís B., Skelton, Dawn A., Sugiyama, Takemi and Dogra, Shilpa (2017) Sedentary time in older adults: a critical review of measurement, associations with health, and interventions. British Journal of Sports Medicine, . doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-097210

  • Dogra, Shilpa, Ashe, Maureen C., Biddle, Stuart J. H., Brown, Wendy J., Buman, Matthew P., Chastin, Sebastien, Gardiner, Paul A., Inoue, Shigeru, Jefferis, Barbara J., Oka, Koichiro, Owen, Neville, Sardinha, Luís B., Skelton, Dawn A., Sugiyama, Takemi and Copeland, Jennifer L. (2017) Sedentary time in older men and women: an international consensus statement and research priorities. British Journal of Sports Medicine, . doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-097209

  • Reid, Natasha, Healy, Genevieve N., Daly, Robin M., Baker, Peter, Eakin, Elizabeth G., Dunstan, David W., Owen, Neville and Gardiner, Paul A. (2017) 12-year television viewing time trajectories and physical function in older adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 49 7: 1359-1365. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000001243

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Your opportunities:

    • This is a great opportunity to get involved in a world-first research project, examining the impact of a sedentary behavior intervention on cognitive function in insufficiently active, frail older adults.
    • Gain an advanced understanding of relationships between prolonged sitting and cognitive function and dementia.
    • Learn and apply a variety of techniques to conceptualise, collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data from cohort and intervention studies.
    • Undertake formative studies to inform interventions to reduce prolonged sitting
    • Develop and conduct an intervention to determine whether reducing prolonged sitting improves cognitive function.
    • Work in a close-knit and supportive team at the CRGM.
    • Collaborate with established interdisciplinary research networks in order to optimise research outcomes and professional development.
    • Flexible working conditions.

    Outline of projects:

    Dementia is characterised by a decline in cognition involving one or more cognitive domains (learning and memory, language, executive function, complex attention, perceptual-motor, social cognition). In the absence of effective pharmacological strategies to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, there has been a call to focus preventive efforts on behavioural risk factors.

    Prolonged sitting is a ubiquitous health risk with high levels of sitting linked to premature mortality, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, regardless of levels of physical activity. People can meet physical activity guidelines (30 minutes on most days of the week) and still have high levels of sitting. There is emerging evidence from observational studies that high levels of television viewing time (a common sedentary behaviour) are related to poorer cognition (executive function and global cognitive function) and development of Alzheimer’s Disease at follow-up, even after controlling for physical activity levels, suggesting an independent association. In contrast one study reported that high levels of computer use (another increasingly prevalent sedentary behaviour) are associated with improvements in verbal memory and executive function at follow-up.

    Despite these risks to health, the field of research to influence prolonged sitting is still not well- developed with the majority of evidence coming from pilot and feasibility studies. To date there are no intervention trials in older adults that have specifically targeted sitting time and reported on outcomes related to cognitive function or dementia.

    Achievable Outcomes:

    • A PhD in Medicine
    • Experience in a wide range of research methods including using existing data sets and devising field based studies to collect data
    • Multiple scientific papers in good research journals
    • Experience with oral/written presentations at national/international conferences

    Contact Dr Paul Gardiner to express your interest - p.gardiner@uq.edu.au

View all Available Projects

Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Your opportunities:

    • This is a great opportunity to get involved in a world-first research project, examining the impact of a sedentary behavior intervention on cognitive function in insufficiently active, frail older adults.
    • Gain an advanced understanding of relationships between prolonged sitting and cognitive function and dementia.
    • Learn and apply a variety of techniques to conceptualise, collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data from cohort and intervention studies.
    • Undertake formative studies to inform interventions to reduce prolonged sitting
    • Develop and conduct an intervention to determine whether reducing prolonged sitting improves cognitive function.
    • Work in a close-knit and supportive team at the CRGM.
    • Collaborate with established interdisciplinary research networks in order to optimise research outcomes and professional development.
    • Flexible working conditions.

    Outline of projects:

    Dementia is characterised by a decline in cognition involving one or more cognitive domains (learning and memory, language, executive function, complex attention, perceptual-motor, social cognition). In the absence of effective pharmacological strategies to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, there has been a call to focus preventive efforts on behavioural risk factors.

    Prolonged sitting is a ubiquitous health risk with high levels of sitting linked to premature mortality, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, regardless of levels of physical activity. People can meet physical activity guidelines (30 minutes on most days of the week) and still have high levels of sitting. There is emerging evidence from observational studies that high levels of television viewing time (a common sedentary behaviour) are related to poorer cognition (executive function and global cognitive function) and development of Alzheimer’s Disease at follow-up, even after controlling for physical activity levels, suggesting an independent association. In contrast one study reported that high levels of computer use (another increasingly prevalent sedentary behaviour) are associated with improvements in verbal memory and executive function at follow-up.

    Despite these risks to health, the field of research to influence prolonged sitting is still not well- developed with the majority of evidence coming from pilot and feasibility studies. To date there are no intervention trials in older adults that have specifically targeted sitting time and reported on outcomes related to cognitive function or dementia.

    Achievable Outcomes:

    • A PhD in Medicine
    • Experience in a wide range of research methods including using existing data sets and devising field based studies to collect data
    • Multiple scientific papers in good research journals
    • Experience with oral/written presentations at national/international conferences

    Contact Dr Paul Gardiner to express your interest - p.gardiner@uq.edu.au