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Occup Med (Lond). 2014 Oct;64(7):497-502. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqu099. Epub 2014 Aug 18.

A survey of sitting time among UK employees.

Author information

NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit, Leicester Diabetes Centre, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester LE5 4PW, UK,
Centre for Applied Resilience in Healthcare, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London, London SE1 8WA, UK.
Work and Health Research Centre, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK.



Sedentary behaviour is a known risk factor for a wide range of chronic diseases. This major health risk is likely to increase given the increasingly sedentary nature of work.


To investigate the prevalence of sedentary behaviour in a sample of UK working-aged adults, across a range of employment sectors.


A cross-sectional survey conducted with organizations throughout the UK in the education, government administration, retail, telecommunications and service industry sectors. The questionnaire examined employee and organizational information, self-reported domain-specific sitting time, sleep and physical activity.


A total of 1141 employees completed the questionnaire, of which 504 completed all aspects of the Domain-Specific Sitting Time Questionnaire for work day sitting. Work time sitting accounted for more than half of the total daily sitting time on a work day (54%). Significantly more time was reported sitting on a work day than time reported sleeping (P < 0.001). Males spent more time sitting at work and using a personal computer at home compared with females. Workers in the telecommunications industry had the highest sitting times. There were significant positive associations between sitting time and body mass index.


There is a pressing need for future workplace health interventions to reduce employee sitting times.


Healthy lifestyles; health workplaces; occupational health services; physical activity; sedentary behavior; workplace health promotion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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