Background: 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.
Aims: To investigate the prevalence of sedentary behaviour in a sample of UK working-aged adults, across a range of employment sectors.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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.
Conclusions: There is a pressing need for future workplace health interventions to reduce employee sitting times.
Keywords: Healthy lifestyles; health workplaces; occupational health services; physical activity; sedentary behavior; workplace health promotion..
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