Non-occupational sitting and mental well-being in employed adults

Ann Behav Med. 2012 Apr;43(2):181-8. doi: 10.1007/s12160-011-9320-y.


Background: Emerging evidence suggests that sedentary behaviour may be adversely associated with physical health, but few studies have examined the association with mental well-being.

Purpose: This study examined the association of four non-occupational sedentary behaviours, individually and in total, with mental well-being in employed adults.

Methods: Baseline data from the evaluation of Well@Work, a national workplace health promotion project conducted in the UK, were used. Participants self-reported sitting time whilst watching television, using a computer, socialising and travelling by motorised transport. Mental well-being was assessed by the 12-item version of the general health questionnaire. Analyses were conducted using multiple linear regression.

Results: In models adjusted for multiple confounders, TV viewing, computer use and total non-occupational sitting time were adversely associated with general health questionnaire-12 assessed mental well-being in women. Computer use only was found to be adversely associated with mental well-being in men.

Conclusion: Sedentary behaviour may be adversely associated with mental well-being in employed adults. The association may be moderated by gender.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Television