Background: Given the unfavourable health outcomes associated with sedentary behaviours, there is a need to better understand the context in which these behaviours take place to better address this public health concern. We explored self-reported sedentary behaviours by type of day (work/non-work), occupation, and perceptions towards physical activity, in a large sample of adults.
Methods: We assessed sedentary behaviours cross-sectionally in 35,444 working adults (mean ± SD age: 44.5 ± 13.0 y) from the French NutriNet-Santé web-based cohort. Participants self-reported sedentary behaviours, assessed as domain-specific sitting time (work, transport, leisure) and time spent in sedentary entertainment (TV/DVD, computer and other screen-based activities, non-screen-based activities) on workdays and non-workdays, along with occupation type (ranging from mainly sitting to heavy manual work) and perceptions towards physical activity. Associations of each type of sedentary behaviour with occupation type and perceptions towards physical activity were analysed by day type in multiple linear regression analyses.
Results: On workdays, adults spent a mean (SD) of 4.17 (3.07) h/day in work sitting, 1.10 (1.69) h/day in transport sitting, 2.19 (1.62) h/day in leisure-time sitting, 1.53 (1.24) h/day viewing TV/DVDs, 2.19 (2.62) h/day on other screen time, and 0.97 (1.49) on non-screen time. On non-workdays, this was 0.85 (1.53) h/day in transport sitting, 3.19 (2.05) h/day in leisure-time sitting, 2.24 (1.76) h/day viewing TV/DVDs, 1.85 (1.74) h/day on other screen time, and 1.30 (1.35) on non-screen time. Time spent in sedentary behaviours differed by occupation type, with more sedentary behaviour outside of work (both sitting and entertainment time), in those with sedentary occupations, especially on workdays. Negative perceptions towards physical activity were associated with more sedentary behaviour outside of work (both sitting and entertainment time), irrespective of day type.
Conclusions: A substantial amount of waking hours was spent in different types of sedentary behaviours on workdays and non-workdays. Being sedentary at work was associated with more sedentary behaviour outside of work. Negative perceptions towards physical activity may influence the amount of time spent in sedentary behaviours. These data should help to better identify target groups in public health interventions to reduce sedentary behaviours in working adults.