sedentary behavior (2023)

sedentary behavior (1)

Sedentary behavior is sitting or lying down (except when sleeping). Many people spend a lot of time sitting while:

Lack of exercise is not the same as not getting enough.physical activity. Even with sufficient physical activity, sitting for more than 7-10 hours a day is detrimental to health.

Importance of limiting sedentary time

(Video) Sedentary Behavior & Depression in Active Young Adults

There is evidence that being sedentary for a long time is associated with an increase in health problems, such as:

  • being overweight or obese
  • bad self esteem
  • poor school performance
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • Injuries and pain in the neck, back and shoulders.

Recommendations for sedentary behavior

OAustralian Physical Activity and Sedentary Lifestyle Guidelines (external website)recommend restrictions on sedentary behavior for all children and adults:

Children from 0 to 5 years (external website)

0-2 years:

  • not sitting, shy, or inactive for more than 1 hour at a time
  • no screen time.

2-5 years:

  • not sitting, shy, or inactive for more than 1 hour at a time
  • no more than 60 minutes of screen time per day.

Children from 5 to 12 years old (external website)

(Video) Lifestyle Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour - Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis

Youth from 13 to 17 years old (external website)

  • Minimize the time you spend sitting or lying down
  • no more than 2 hours of screen time per day.

Adults 18-64 (external website)

  • Minimize the time you spend sitting or lying down
  • Stop sitting for long periods of time whenever possible.
(Video) The relationships between being sedentary behaviours and cardiovascular disease

Ways to Limit Sedentary Behavior

around the house

  • Get up to change the TV channel.
  • Stand or walk while talking on the phone.
  • Get up and move around while watching TV.
  • Listen to audiobooks while you walk, clean, or garden.
  • Put things in several small trips when tidying up.

see moreTips for staying active at home (external website).

In the office

  • Take the stairs at every opportunity.
  • Deliver footer messages instead of email.
  • plan traveling meetings.
  • Have lunch outdoors or take a walk during lunch.
  • Get up to read at work or use a standing desk.
  • Set a reminder on your computer to get up and move more often.

get places

For more information, seeTravel Options (external website).

(Video) Webinar 2. Why and how to reduce sedentary behaviour?

where to get help


  • Even if you do a lot of physical activity, sitting is bad for you.
  • Limit sedentary leisure activities, such as watching television for entertainment.
  • Stop sitting for long periods of time whenever possible.

Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate

This publication is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Any information about any therapy, service, product or treatment does not constitute an endorsement and does not replace the advice of your physician. Readers should note that the currency and completeness of the information may change over time. All users should consult a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.


What is an example of a sedentary activity your answer? ›

riding in a bus or car, playing passive video games, playing on the computer, and. sitting in a car seat or stroller.

What are some examples of sedentary behavior? ›

Some examples of sedentary behavior include television viewing, playing video games, using a computer, sitting at school or work, and sitting while commuting (Figure 1) [8].

What is sedentary behaviour and why should it be limited? ›

Even if you are doing enough physical activity, sitting for more than 7 to 10 hours a day is bad for your health. There is evidence that spending a lot of time being sedentary is linked to an increase in health problems such as: being overweight or obese. poor self esteem.

What is sedentary behaviour? ›

Definition. Sedentary behaviour was defined as sitting or lying down for various activities, including time spent sitting at work, and time spent sitting while using computers, watching television, and for other leisure activities.

What is the most common sedentary behavior? ›

Common sedentary behaviours include TV viewing, video game playing, computer use (collective termed “screen time”), driving automobiles, and reading. This definition of sedentary behaviour has been published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

How do I know if I am sedentary? ›

Unless you do at least 30 minutes per day of intentional exercise, you are considered sedentary. If you're Low Active, your daily activities include: Activities of daily living, such as shopping, cleaning, watering plants, taking out the trash, walking the dog, mowing the lawn, and gardening.

What is another word for sedentary behavior? ›

adj.motionless, lazy.

What are common sedentary Behaviours for adults? ›

Sedentary behaviours involve very little physical movement while awake. This includes time sitting or lying down, such as while watching television, using phones or tablets, playing electronic games, using a computer at home or at work, traveling, or operating equipment or machinery.

What is the difference between inactivity and sedentary Behaviour? ›

There is a difference between a person who is sedentary and a person who is physically inactive. Being 'physically inactive' means not doing enough physical activity (in other words, not meeting the physical activity guidelines ). However, being 'sedentary' means sitting or lying down for long periods.

How can you limit sedentary behavior? ›

Follow our five top tips to help keep you moving throughout the day.
  1. Try to take regular breaks from looking at a screen. If watching television, get up in every ad break. ...
  2. Stand instead of sitting when you can. ...
  3. Stand up at work. ...
  4. Plan in some active time when you are usually sedentary. ...
  5. Set time limits on sedentary behaviour.

At what point is a person considered sedentary? ›

What is a sedentary lifestyle? The exact definition of a sedentary lifestyle is when someone spends six or more hours per day sitting or lying down, and they lack significant physical movement in their daily life.

What is avoid sedentary behaviors? ›

Generally, sedentary behaviour is described as the time when a person is lying down or sitting. Some other common sedentary behaviours include playing video games, watching TV, driving, reading, riding in a bus, using computers, and sitting for long periods.

Where do sedentary behaviors usually occur? ›

Common examples of sedentary behavior include TV viewing, desk-based occupations, computer use, sitting in the classroom, passive commuting (car, taxi), reading, and playing board games. Existing data have demonstrated a predominance of sedentary lifestyles in Western society.

What does sedentary behavior mean give 2 examples? ›

“Sedentary behavior refers to activities that do not increase energy expenditure substantially above the resting level and includes activities such as sleeping, sitting, lying down, and watching television, and other forms of screen-based entertainment.

What are the effects of sedentary behavior? ›

Sedentary behavior can also increase your risk of dying, either from heart disease or other medical problems. Even if you're doing 30 minutes per day of physical activity, it matters what you do the other 23 hours of the day.

What influences sedentary behavior? ›

Sedentary behaviour is influenced by a complex interaction between individual, environmental, socio-economic and socio-cultural factors.

How do I know if Im sedentary or lightly active? ›

Types of activity levels

Sedentary — You work a desk job with little or no exercise. Lightly Active — You work a job with light physical demands, or you work a desk job and perform light exercise (at the level of a brisk walk) for 30 minutes per day, 3-5 times per week.

Are you sedentary if you walk? ›

Your simple question requires a surprisingly complicated answer, because steps, by definition, cannot be sedentary. Walking is a physical activity, whether you take two steps in a day or 20,000. So sedentary status cannot be defined by how many or few daily steps you manage.

How long is too long to be sedentary? ›

Researchers analyzed 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels. They found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to that posed by obesity and smoking.

Which of the following is a characteristic of a sedentary person? ›

Characteristics of a sedentary lifestyle include: not participating (much) in physical activity or too passive in their life. too much time watching TV, playing video games or on the computer (and not enough activity) driving or using public transportation a lot and rarely walking or cycling.

Is sleep considered a sedentary behavior? ›

Sleep is an inherently sedentary behavior. The energy requirement of sleep is lower than for any other activity,38,39 and at first consideration, one might expect that shorter sleep duration, or 'sleep debt,' would be associated with greater daily total energy expenditures and thus lower weight.

How active do you have to be to not be sedentary? ›

Well, the World Health Organization recommends that adults 18-64 years old “should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity.” Or a minimum of “75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity; or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity ...

How can I improve my sedentary activity? ›

6 Ways to Stay Active if You Sit at a Desk All Day
  1. Walk or Bike to Work. Many people who don't live that far from work get their daily exercise in by walking or biking to work. ...
  2. Ditch the Chair. ...
  3. Sit on an Exercise Ball. ...
  4. See Your Colleagues in Person. ...
  5. Take Regular Breaks. ...
  6. Visit a Physical Therapist.
Aug 5, 2020

How do you motivate a sedentary person? ›

For our clients we establish a daily routine and use motivation and encouragement for them to follow it until it becomes habit.
  1. We wake up.
  2. Next we eat.
  3. Then we shower.
  4. After, we brush out teeth.
  5. Then we get dressed.
  6. Walk or go workout for at least thirty minutes.
  7. Drink 8 glasses of water throughout the day.
Dec 17, 2018

What is one sedentary behavior guidelines? ›

Sedentary time

Do not restrain for more than 1 hour at a time. Minimise and break up long periods of sitting.

Is it OK to be sedentary for a day? ›

Living a sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous to your health. The less sitting or lying down you do during the day, the better your chances for living a healthy life. If you stand or move around during the day, you have a lower risk of early death than if you sit at a desk.

How long should you be sedentary in a day? ›

How Long Is Too Long to Sit Still? The general recommendation is to reduce prolonged sedentary behavior to no more than 60 minutes at a time, Matthews says. To reduce inactivity, focus on a greater frequency of movement throughout the day.

What happens if you are too sedentary? ›

By not getting regular exercise, you raise your risk of: Obesity. Heart diseases, including coronary artery disease and heart attack. High blood pressure.

Can you reverse sedentary? ›

Researchers have found that engaging in aerobic exercise four to five days a week for two years can be what it takes to start to reverse decades of sedentary living. The study, published in the journal Circulation looked at the hearts of adults aged 45-64 with no history of exercising regularly.

What are 3 risks of living a sedentary lifestyle? ›

Sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety.

Which of the following is an example of a sedentary activity quizlet? ›

Watching TV and surfing the Internet are examples of sedentary activities. 13. Jogging, swimming, and riding a bike are examples of aerobic exercise.

What does sedentary activity mean quizlet? ›

Sitting, doing little or no exercise.

What is considered sedentary lifestyle? ›

The exact definition of a sedentary lifestyle is when someone spends six or more hours per day sitting or lying down, and they lack significant physical movement in their daily life.

What is a good example of an exercise program for a sedentary person? ›

Type: Aerobic exercise, such as walking (outside or on a treadmil) and biking (upright or recumbant bike with minimal resistance), is recommended for someone just beginning.

What is a sedentary lifestyle What can it lead to in later life? ›

Sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety.

What consequences do sedentary activities? ›

The biggest diseases you're at risk for when you spend too much of your life sitting are type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In fact, those leading sedentary lives are at a 112% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and 147% higher risk of developing heart disease.

How do you break a sedentary lifestyle? ›

Simple ways to move more every day
  1. Walk for five minutes every two hours.
  2. Get up and walk around or march in place during TV commercials.
  3. Do a few sets of heel raises, where you stand on your toes. ...
  4. Always stand or walk around when you're on the phone.
  5. Do a set or two of push-ups against the kitchen counter.
May 24, 2018

How do you go from completely sedentary to active? ›

If you have been inactive for a long time, start with short sessions (10 to 15 minutes). Add five minutes to each session, increasing every two to four weeks. Gradually build up to being active at least 30 minutes a day for most days of the week. Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise.


1. WHO Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior for Persons with Disabilities (PiF)
2. Sedentary Behavior - Target for Change, Challenge to Assess
(Stanford Medicine)
3. Sitting risks: How harmful is too much sitting? Sedentary lifestyle
(Kote's Medical Animations)
4. "Obesity: the billionaire cost to global health"
(Wellbeing Wisdom)
5. Time for Break: Understanding Information Workers' Sedentary Behavior Through a Break Prompting ...
6. Factors influencing sedentary behaviour
(National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine)


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