Mortality and Heart Disease

  • In 2013 the Public Library of Science published a meta-analysis of 6 studies involving data from 595,086 adults and 29,162 deaths which showed that individuals who sat 10 hours per day had an estimated 34 percent higher mortality risk. The researchers also found that engaging in moderate-to-vigorous exercise reduced this risk. [Source]
  • In 2009 Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise published a study which examined the sitting time and mortality rates in a sample of 17,013 Canadians. The data showed that more time spent sitting was associated with higher rates of death from heart disease and all causes, independent of physical activity. [Source]
  • In 2015 Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise published a prospective study which followed 154,614 older adults and found that, for less active individuals, replacing one hour of sitting with either exercise or non-exercise activities such as walking, gardening, or household chores could lower both cardiovascular and all-cause mortality rates. [Source]
  • In 2012 Archives of Internal Medicine published a study based on questionnaire data from 222,497 individuals 45 years or older which showed that mortality rates increased sharply when sitting time was 11 hours or more per day. [Source]
  • In 2010 the American Journal of Epidemiology published a prospective study based on questionnaire data from 53,440 men and 69,776 women who were disease free at enrollment which showed that after a 14-year follow-up individuals who sat 6 or more hours per day had a 48 and 94 percent increased mortality risk, respectively, when compared with those with the least sitting time and most physical activity. [Source]
  • In 2010 the American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a meta-analysis of 43 papers which examined the relationship between cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, all-cause mortality and occupational sitting. The evidence linking cancer and occupational sitting was limited, while the majority of studies found that occupational sitting was linked to a higher risk of diabetes and mortality. [Source]
  • In 2014 the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity published a study based on 71,363 men and women which found that sitting 10 or more hours per day coupled with being generally inactive was associated with an 80 percent higher risk of heart attack and a 129 percent higher risk for all-cause mortality when compared to sitting less than 6 hours per day and being physically active. [Source]

Taking Breaks – Endothelial function

  • In 2015 Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise published a study involving 12 men which examined the effects of taking breaks during sitting time on endothelial cell function. The researchers found that while 3 hours of sitting resulted in significant impairment of flow-dial mediation (a measure used to assess endothelial dysfunction) hourly breaks involving light activity prevented this impairment. [Source]

Taking Breaks – Glucose and insulin levels

  • In 2012 Diabetes Care published a crossover study which found that short 2-minute bouts of walking every 20 minutes decreased post meal glucose and insulin levels in 19 overweight adults when compared to uninterrupted sitting. [Source]


  • In 2016 Physical Therapy published a study based on 40 adults who had suffered a stroke and 23 age-matched controls which found that individuals with stroke spent more time sitting and less time engaged in physical activity compared to their peers. Much of the time spent sitting was for prolonged periods. [Source]

Sit-stand Desks – Reduced Muscle Pain Associated with Office Jobs

  • In 2009 Human Factors published a study which found that sit-stand desks were able to reduce complaints of muscle aches and pains in a group of 60 males volunteers between the ages of 18 to 35. [Source]

Sit-stand Desks – Productivity

  • In 2015 Preventative Medicine Reports published a study based on a sample of 31 subjects which found that after 19 weeks of follow-up call center employees using sit-stand desks increased their daily standing time without reducing productivity. [Source]

Physical Activity

  • In 2016 Lancet published a meta-analysis which analyzed data provided by 16 studies including 1,005,791 individuals on sitting time and all-cause mortality. The data showed that 60-75 minutes per day of moderate intensity physical activity eliminated the increased mortality risk caused by sitting. Six of the studies showed that watching TV for 3 or more hours per day increased mortality except in the most active individuals where mortality was only increased by watching TV for 5 or more hours per day. [Source]

Lower Back Pain

  • In 2007 the European Spine Journal published a meta-analysis of 25 studies which found that sitting for more than half a workday in combination with awkward postures or whole body vibrations increases the risk or lower back pain and sciatica. [Source]
  • In 2015 the Public Library of Science published a study based on 201 blue-collar workers which found a significant positive association between total sitting time and lower back pain intensity. [Source]

Vascular Function

  • In 2015 Experimental Physiology published a study which found that 3 hours of uninterrupted sitting caused a 33 percent reduction in the vascular function of young girls. [Source]


  • In 2016 Diabetes Care published a study which measured type 2 diabetes markers based on sitting time and break time in 24 inactive, overweight adults with type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that when the participants took breaks every 30 minutes and completed 3 minutes of light exercise or bouts of walking their diabetes markers significantly improved compared to uninterrupted sitting during an 8 hour workday. [Source]
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