A sedentary lifestyle

  • June 11, 2015
A sedentary lifestyle

Rajna Golubic's research on healthy ageing wins prestigious prize.

A Gates Cambridge Alumna has been awarded a prestigious prize for her research on healthy ageing which shows people over 60 spend 95% of their time in sedentary or light-intensity activity.
 
Rajna Golubic [2010], who completed her PhD at the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit in October 2014, was awarded the prize for the best observational study by the International Society for Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA). The prize was presented in Edinburgh on 4 June at the Annual Meeting of the ISBNPA.
 
Her paper on active lifestyle and healthy ageing presents findings from her research into lifestyle factors and health over the life-course in a nationally representative cohort that was born in 1946 and followed-up until the present day. 
 
She measured physical activity at age 60-65 in around 1,800 people from 10 European countries using wearable monitors which collect information on body movement and heart rate. She says these allow for greater accuracy of activity estimates than frequently used questionnaires that rely on self-report. The participants were 20% less active than people who were 10 years younger who wore the same monitor. 
 
There were lower activity levels among women, obese individuals, smokers, retirees and those with low education or long-term illness compared with their counterparts. The research suggests older people spend an extremely large proportion of time in sedentary or light-intensity activity.
 
Rajna said: "This paper is based on one of the projects on which I worked during my PhD and comprised a chapter of my dissertation.  The MRC Epidemiology Unit Physical Activity group leads several projects focusing on the effects of accurately quantified light activity on health outcomes to help inform the development of guidelines for lifestyle modification in this growing segment of the population. This award shows international recognition of the work and the potential to translate robust research findings into practice."
 
She is now working as a medical doctor in the West Suffolk Hospital which is one of the Cambridge University teaching hospitals and hopes to pursue both a clinical and academic career.
 
*Picture credit: Capture Queen (Old But All with colors) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Rajna Golubic

Rajna Golubic

  • Alumni
  • Croatia
  • 2008 MPhil Public Health and Primary Care
    2010 PhD Epidemiology
  • St John's College

I completed an MPhil in Public Health in 2009 and a PhD in Epidemiology (MRC Epidemiology Unit) at Cambridge in 2014 as a Gates Scholar.
Subsequently, I started to work as a medical doctor in several hospitals in the East of England and am now an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow and Specialty Registrar in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge. I am passionate about the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic disorders and believe that through my research and clinical practice I can contribute to a reduction of the global burden of these disorders.
I also have a keen interest in teaching and provide clinical supervisions for Cambridge medical students and teach research methods for a variety of audiences.
I have been serving as a Deputy Lead of the Global Innovation Panel of the Need for Nutrition Education Global Centre in Cambridge and working on applied projects focused on nutrition education.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge MPhil Public Health and Primary Care 2008
University of Zagreb MD 2005

Latest News

Gut bacteria links to immune responses in the brain

Bugs in the gut may hold the key to protective immune measures in the brain which could have implications for diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, according to a new study led by Gates Cambridge Scholar Zachary Fitzpatrick. A paper based on his PhD research has recently been published in Nature and it highlights […]

Exploring the social barriers to take-up of green technology

How can rural communities be encouraged to take up green energy solutions? A new study co-authored by Gates Cambridge Scholar Ramit Debnath investigates the social barriers to uptake of household appliances fuelled by green energy. Based on research on more than 14.5K households in rural communities in Rwanda, the study, published in Renewable Energy, found […]

A new technique to decode the way the nervous system works

How do the billions of neurons in the human brain work together to give rise to thought or certain types of behaviour? A new study led by Gates Cambridge Alumnus Eviatar Yemini [2007] outlines a colouring technique, known as NeuroPAL (a Neuronal Polychromatic Atlas of Landmarks), which makes it possible – at least in experiments […]

An innovative approach to plant protection

Shauna-Lee Chai is passionate about working on wicked problems, about using her entrepreneurial skills to improve the lives of others and about seeing the big picture, something she says her experience as a Gates Cambridge Scholar contributed to. Her expertise is in invasive plant species and for three years she was Board Director of the […]