Skip to main content

Chair Based Measurements of Sitting Behavior a Field Study of Sitting Postures and Sitting Time in Office Work

  • Conference paper

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 8026)


In order to understand the relation between prolonged sitting and the relation to health outcome, the behavior while being seated must be studied.

A total of 41 office workers participated in a study whilst performing their regular work for eight weeks, whilst sitting on a measuring office chair (Smart Chair). The first two (control) weeks they were not aware of the measuring abilities of the chair. After this, two groups were made to distinguish between the effects of chair instruction and smart feedback on sitting postures (Van der Doelen et al. 2011).

In this paper the data has been analyzed in another way. The aim of this paper is to explore the characteristics of sedentary behavior for 41 subjects during their regular office work over eight weeks by measuring the events of sitting and absence from their office chair.

Results showed that the office workers in this study on average have very long sitting events, that exceed general recommendations. Results showed that the office workers in this study on average have very long sitting events, that exceed general recommendations. Recommendations for 5 minute breaks every hour are met by 85% of the participants. However recommendations on sitting les than 20 minutes were met by 5% of the participants. None of the participants met the recommendations on all of their days during the field study.

The sedentary behavior shown in this study underlines the importance to monitor and influence sedentary behavior while considering the individual sedentary patterns. Further knowledge on analyzing sedentary patterns is needed.


  • device-based measures
  • sedentary behavior


  1. Thorp, A.A., Owen, N., Neuhaus, M., Dunstan, D.W.: Sedentary Behaviors and Subsequent Health Outcomes in Adults: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies, 1996–2011. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 41(2), 207–215 (2011)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. McCrady, S.K., Levine, J.A.: Sedentariness at work: How much do we really sit. Obesity 17(11), 2103–2105 (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Jans, M.P., Proper, K.I., Hildebrandt, V.H.: Sedentary Behavior in Dutch Workers. Differences Between Occupations and Business Sectors. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 33(6), 450–454 (2007)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. Chastin, S.F.M., Granat, M.H.: Methods for objective measure, quantification and analysis of sedentary behaviour and inactivity. Gait and Posture 31(1), 82–86 (2010)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Matthews, C.E., Chen, K.Y., Freedson, P.S., Buchowski, M.S., Beech, B.M., Pate, R.R., Troiano, R.P.: Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors in the United States, 2003-2004. American Journal of Epidemiology 167(7), 875–881 (2008)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  6. Clark, B.K., Thorp, A.A., Winkler, E.A.H., Gardiner, P.A., Healy, G.N., Owen, N., Dunstan, D.W.: Validity of self-reported measures of workplace sitting time and breaks in sitting time. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 43(10), 1907–1912 (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Tan, H.Z., Slivovsky, L.A., Pentland, A.P.: A Sensing Chair Using Pressure Distribution Sensors. IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics 6(3), 261–268 (2001)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  8. Mutlu, B., Krause, A., Forlizzi, J., Guestrin, C., Hodgins, J.K.: Robust, Low-Cost, Non-Intrusive Recognition of Seated Postures. In: Proceedings of 20th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2007), Newport, RI (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Zheng, Y., Morrell, J.B.: Avibrotactile feedback approach to posture guidance. In: 2010 IEEE Haptics Symposium, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA (Boston Area), pp. 351–358 (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Van der Doelen, L.H.M., Netten, M.P., Goossens, R.H.M.: &NES University of Oulu, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the Oulu University of Applied Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, and University of Lapland, E. R. Y, Tactile feedback to influence sitting behaviour during office work. In: äyrynen, S.V. (Ed.), NES - Wellbeing and Innovation Through Ergonomics, pp. 380–385. Oulu, Finland (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Ryan, C.G., Grant, P.M., Dall, P.M., Granat, M.H.: Sitting patterns at work: Objective measurement of adherence to current recommendations. Ergonomics 54(6), 531–538 (2011)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this paper

Cite this paper

Netten, M.P., van der Doelen, L.H.M., Goossens, R.H.M. (2013). Chair Based Measurements of Sitting Behavior a Field Study of Sitting Postures and Sitting Time in Office Work. In: Duffy, V.G. (eds) Digital Human Modeling and Applications in Health, Safety, Ergonomics, and Risk Management. Human Body Modeling and Ergonomics. DHM 2013. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 8026. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-39181-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-39182-8

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)