Sedentary behaviour and health at work: an investigation of industrial sector, job role, gender and geographical differences

This article presents baseline data from 1120 employees across 10 worksites enrolled in a workplace physical activity intervention. The study provides new data on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health and highlights gender, geographical, job type and industrial sector differences. Sitting at work accounted for more than 60% of participants' total daily sitting time on work days. Weekly and monthly hours worked, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were significantly higher for workers in the private sector compared to the public sector. Employees in sales and customer services had significantly higher BMI scores and significantly lower scores for workability index (WAI), job satisfaction, organisational commitment and job motivation, compared to other groups. This study provides further evidence that work is a major contributor to sedentary behaviour and supports the pressing need for interventions particularly targeting private sector industries and sales and customer service sectors.