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J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Dec;53(12):1382-7. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31823c1402.

Time spent in physical activity and sedentary behaviors on the working day: the American time use survey.

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  • 1Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.



To determine time spent on the working day in sleep, work, sedentary behaviors, and light-, moderate-, and vigorous-intensity behaviors by occupation intensity.


Data came from 30,758 working respondents to the 2003 to 2009 American Time Use Survey. Mean ± SEM time spent in work, sedentary behaviors, light-, moderate-, and vigorous-intensity activities, and sleep were computed by occupations classified as sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous intensity.


On average, approximately 32% of the 24-hour day was spent sleeping and approximately 31% was spent at work. Time spent in sedentary behaviors outside of work was higher, and light-intensity time was lower, with higher levels of intensity-defined occupation.


Those employed in sedentary occupations were sedentary for approximately 11 hours per day, leaving little time to achieve recommended levels of physical activity for overall health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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