Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 181–188 | Cite as

Non-Occupational Sitting and Mental Well-Being in Employed Adults

  • Andrew J. AtkinEmail author
  • Emma Adams
  • Fiona C. Bull
  • Stuart J. H. Biddle
Original Article



Emerging evidence suggests that sedentary behaviour may be adversely associated with physical health, but few studies have examined the association with mental well-being.


This study examined the association of four non-occupational sedentary behaviours, individually and in total, with mental well-being in employed adults.


Baseline data from the evaluation of Well@Work, a national workplace health promotion project conducted in the UK, were used. Participants self-reported sitting time whilst watching television, using a computer, socialising and travelling by motorised transport. Mental well-being was assessed by the 12-item version of the general health questionnaire. Analyses were conducted using multiple linear regression.


In models adjusted for multiple confounders, TV viewing, computer use and total non-occupational sitting time were adversely associated with general health questionnaire-12 assessed mental well-being in women. Computer use only was found to be adversely associated with mental well-being in men.


Sedentary behaviour may be adversely associated with mental well-being in employed adults. The association may be moderated by gender.


Sedentary behaviour Sitting time Mental well-being Effect modification 



The Well@Work evaluation project was funded by Department of Health, Sport England, BIG Lottery and British Heart Foundation.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors have no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew J. Atkin
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Emma Adams
    • 1
  • Fiona C. Bull
    • 1
  • Stuart J. H. Biddle
    • 2
  1. 1.British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health, School of Sport, Exercise and Health SciencesLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK
  2. 2.School of Sport, Exercise and Health SciencesLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK
  3. 3.UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), Institute of Public Health, University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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