Descriptive epidemiology of domain-specific sitting in working adults: the Stormont Study

Stacy A Clemes, Jonathan Houdmont, Fehmidah Munir, Kelly Wilson, Robert Kerr, Ken Addley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Given links between sedentary behaviour and unfavourable health outcomes, there is a need to understand the influence of socio-demographic factors on sedentary behaviour to inform effective interventions. This study examined domain-specific sitting times reported across socio-demographic groups of office workers.The analyses are cross-sectional and based on a survey conducted within the Stormont Study, which is tracking employees in the Northern Ireland Civil Service. Participants self-reported their daily sitting times across multiple domains (work, TV, travel, PC use and leisure) on workdays and non-workdays, along with their physical activity and socio-demographic variables (sex, age, marital status, BMI, educational attainment and work pattern). Total and domain-specific sitting on workdays and non-workdays were compared across socio-demographic groups using multivariate analyses of covariance.Completed responses were obtained from 4436 participants. For the whole sample, total daily sitting times were higher on workdays in comparison to non-workdays (625 ± 168 versus 469 ± 210 min/day, P <0.001). On workdays and non-workdays, higher sitting times were reported by individuals aged 18-29 years, obese individuals, full-time workers and single/divorced/widowed individuals (P <0.001).Interventions are needed to combat the high levels of sedentary behaviour observed in office workers, particularly among the highlighted demographic groups. Interventions should target workplace and leisure-time sitting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Mar 2016


  • occupational health interventions
  • office workers
  • screen time
  • sedentary behaviour
  • TV viewing


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