International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 219–224

Steps and sitting in a working population

  • Ruth Miller
  • Wendy Brown

DOI: 10.1207/s15327558ijbm1104_5

Cite this article as:
Miller, R. & Brown, W. Int. J. Behav. Med. (2004) 11: 219. doi:10.1207/s15327558ijbm1104_5


This study aimed to assess sitting time and number of steps taken each day, and the relationships between these variables, in a sample of working Australian adults. Workers (N = 185) wore a pedometer for 7 days and recorded the number of steps taken and time spent sitting each day. Average time spent sitting on weekdays was 9.4 (SD = 2.40) hr, with about half spent sitting at work. Despite this, the average steps taken each day (M = 8,873, SD = 2,757) was higher on weekdays than on weekend days. There was a clear inverse relationship between sitting time at work and number of steps taken on weekdays, r = -.34, p < .001); those in the highest tertile for sitting time reported about 3,000 fewer daily steps. Workers in managerial and professional occupations reported more time sitting at work (M = 6.2 hr per day) and lower weekday step counts (M = 7,883, N = 43) than technical (M = 3.3 hr sitting at work and 10,731 weekday steps, N = 33) and blue collar workers (M = 1.6 hours sitting and 11,784 steps, N = 11). The findings suggest those whose daily work involves long hours of sitting should be the focus of efforts to promote physical activity both within and outside the workplace.

Key words

sittingpedometersphysical activityoccupationworkers

Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Miller
    • 1
  • Wendy Brown
    • 2
  1. 1.Brisbane Southside Public Health UnitQueensland Health, Brisbane; and School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland
  2. 2.School of Human Movement StudiesUniversity of QueenslandBrisbane