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Office Workers' Objectively Measured Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity During and Outside Working Hours

Clemes, Stacy A. PhD; O'Connell, Sophie E. PhD; Edwardson, Charlotte L. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 3 - p 298–303
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000101
Original Articles

Objective: To examine objectively determined sedentary behavior and physical activity (PA) during and outside working hours in full-time office workers.

Methods: A total of 170 participants wore an ActiGraph GT1M accelerometer for 7 days. Time spent sedentary (<100 counts/min), in light-intensity PA (100 to 1951 counts/min), and moderate-to-vigorous PA (≥1952 counts/min) was calculated for workdays (including working hours and nonworking hours) and nonworkdays.

Results: Participants accumulated significantly higher levels of sedentary behavior (68% vs 60%) and lower levels of light-intensity activity (28% vs 36%) on workdays in comparison with nonworkdays. Up to 71% of working hours were spent sedentary. Individuals who were most sedentary at work were also more sedentary outside work.

Conclusions: Those who are most sedentary at work do not compensate by increasing their PA or reducing their sedentary time outside work. Occupational interventions should address workplace and leisure-time sedentary behavior.

From the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (Dr Clemes), Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom; MoveLab (Dr O'Connell); Physical Activity and Exercise Research, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom; and Diabetes Research Centre (Dr Edwardson), University of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, Leicestershire, United Kingdom.

Address correspondence to: Stacy A. Clemes PhD, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK (

No external funding supported the work outlined in the article. The research was undertaken using existing funds and equipment within the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine