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Prev Med. 2014 Oct;67:288-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.07.031. Epub 2014 Aug 10.

Understanding occupational sitting: prevalence, correlates and moderating effects in Australian employees.

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Ghent University, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent, Belgium; Research Foundation Flanders, Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address:
The University of Newcastle, School of Medicine and Public Health, Callaghan, Australia.
Central Queensland University, Centre for Physical Activity Studies, Institute for Health and Social Science Research, Rockhampton, QLD, Australia.
Victoria University, Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; The University of Queensland, School of Human Movement Studies, St Lucia Campus, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.



To (1) compare occupational sitting between different socio-demographic, health-related, work-related and psychosocial categories, (2) identity socio-demographic, health-related, work-related and psychosocial correlates of occupational sitting, and (3) examine the moderating effect of work-related factors in the relation between correlates and occupational sitting.


Randomly-selected Australian adults completed a web-based survey assessing socio-demographic (country of birth, gender, age, education, income), health-related (general health, weight, physical activity), work-related (employment status, occupational task, occupational classification) and sedentary-specific psychosocial (social norm, social support, self-efficacy, control, advantages, disadvantage, intention) factors, and occupational sitting-time. t-tests, ANOVAs and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted (in 2013) on a sample of employees (n=993).


Respondents sat on average for 3.75 (SD=2.45) h/day during work. Investigated correlates explained 41% of the variance in occupational sitting. More occupational sitting was associated with being male, being younger, higher education and income, part-time and full-time employment, sedentary job tasks, white-collar/professional occupations, higher BMI, and perceiving more advantages of sitting less at work. Employment status and occupational classification moderated the association between control to sit less and occupational sitting. A lack of control to sit less was associated with higher occupational sitting in part-time and full-time workers, but not in casual workers; and in white-collar and professional workers, but not in blue-collar workers.


Most important contributors to occupational sitting were work-related and socio-demographic correlates. More research is needed to confirm present results.


Cross-sectional study; Online survey; Sedentary behaviour; Workplace

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