Prolonged sitting is an independent risk factor for poor health and early death in workers.


Research from the University of Sydney found that people who sit for 11 hours or more a day are 40 per cent more likely to die within three years than those who sit for less than four hours. Those who sit for between eight hours and 11 hours a day are 15 per cent more likely to die. This was after taking into account the participants’ physical activity, weight and health status.


Working adults spend more time at work—approximately one third of their day—than in any other setting. According to Medibank’s publication Stand Up Australia, Sedentary behaviour in workers, office workers spend an average of 76 per cent of their day sitting.


Workplace design and management and working conditions can have a significant effect on the health of workers. Employers can be presented with productivity losses due to workers with chronic disease. These include unplanned absences, reduced workplace effectiveness, workers’ compensation costs and negative impacts on work quality or customer service. The relationship between work and health is therefore an important one.