The benefits of a physically active lifestyle are well established and reflected in public health guidelines and policy. In recent years there has been growing interest in the role that sedentary behaviour may play in health and wellbeing.
Public health guidelines now recommend that people of all ages should avoid prolonged periods of sedentary behaviour and break up periods of sitting.
This evidence briefing provides an overview of the evidence relating to sedentary behaviour and public health. It defines sedentary behaviour and summarises the risks and current levels as well as the implications for policy and practice. It also reviews the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour.
Negative health outcomes of sedentary behaviour
Based on research from academics in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, this animation provides practical tips on reducing sitting time.
It is widely known that sitting down for long periods of time, even for those who do some exercise regularly, can lead to poor health. Teams from the University of Leicester and Loughborough University wanted to investigate simple solutions to reducing sitting time in the office.
The research, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), found that giving height-adjustable workstations to staff, alongside a brief education seminar, posters and providing feedback on sitting behaviour (i.e., the SMArT Work programme), reduced sitting time and increased standing whilst at work, which resulted in lots of work and wellbeing benefits.