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Home >> Health Risks >> Research


There has been exponential growth in international research studies focusing on Sedentary Behaviour (SB) since 2008. Whilst still emerging, the research now provides compelling evidence that there is a multitude of serious health risks connected to "prolonged" and "excessive" sitting. The index below details research listed both in the Expert Statement (BLUE) and supplementary research studies (RED).

  1. Link Levine JA. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Nutrition reviews 2004;62(7 Pt 2):S82-97.
  2. pdf Buckley JP, Mellor DD, Morris M, et al. Standing-based office work shows encouraging signs of attenuating post-prandial glycaemic excursion. Occupational and environmental medicine 2014;71(2):109-11.
  3. pdf Smith L, Thomas EL, Bell JD, et al. The association between objectively measured sitting and standing with body composition: a pilot study using MRI. BMJ open 2014;4(6):e005476.
  4. pdf Henson J, Edwardson CL, Morgan B, et al. Associations of Sedentary Time with Fat Distribution in a High-Risk Population. Medicine and science in sports and exercise 2014.
  5. pdf Thorp AA, Kingwell BA, Sethi P, et al. Alternating bouts of sitting and standing attenuate postprandial glucose responses. Medicine and science in sports and exercise 2014;46(11):2053-61.
  6. pdf Dunstan DW, Kingwell BA, Larsen R, et al. Breaking up prolonged sitting reduces postprandial glucose and insulin responses. Diabetes care 2012;35(5):976-83.
  7. pdf Bailey DP, Locke CD. Breaking up prolonged sitting with light-intensity walking improves postprandial glycemia, but breaking up sitting with standing does not. Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia 2014.
  8. pdf Thorp AA, Kingwell BA, Owen N, et al. Breaking up workplace sitting time with intermittent standing bouts improves fatigue and musculoskeletal discomfort in overweight/obese office workers. Occupational and environmental medicine 2014;71(11):765-71.
  9. pdf Henson J, Yates T, Biddle SJ, et al. Associations of objectively measured sedentary behaviour and physical activity with markers of cardiometabolic health. Diabetologia 2013;56(5):1012-20.
  10. pdf Church TS, Thomas DM, Tudor-Locke C, et al. Trends over 5 decades in U.S. occupation-related physical activity and their associations with obesity. PloS one 2011;6(5):e19657.
  11. pdf Proper KI, Singh AS, van Mechelen W, et al. Sedentary behaviors and health outcomes among adults: a systematic review of prospective studies. American journal of preventive medicine 2011;40(2):174-82.
  12. pdf Healy GN, Matthews CE, Dunstan DW, et al. Sedentary time and cardio-metabolic biomarkers in US adults: NHANES 2003-06. European heart journal 2011;32(5):590-7.
  13. pdf Schmid D, Leitzmann MF. Television viewing and time spent sedentary in relation to cancer risk: a meta-analysis. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2014;106(7).
  14. pdf Wilmot EG, Edwardson CL, Achana FA, et al. Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetologia 2012;55(11):2895-905.
  15. pdf Biswas A, Oh PI, Faulkner GE, et al. Sedentary time and its association with risk for disease incidence, mortality, and hospitalization in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of internal medicine 2015;162(2):123-32.
  16. pdf Grontved A, Hu FB. Television viewing and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis. Jama 2011;305(23):2448-55.
  17. pdf Chau JY, Grunseit A, Midthjell K, et al. Sedentary behaviour and risk of mortality from all-causes and cardiometabolic diseases in adults: evidence from the HUNT3 population cohort. British journal of sports medicine 2013.
  18. pdf Matthews CE, George SM, Moore SC, et al. Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors and cause-specific mortality in US adults. The American journal of clinical nutrition 2012;95(2):437-45.
  19. pdf Hamer M, Stamatakis E, Mishra GD. Television- and screen-based activity and mental well-being in adults. American journal of preventive medicine 2010;38(4):375-80.
  20. pdf Teychenne M, Ball K, Salmon J. Physical activity, sedentary behavior and depression among disadvantaged women. Health education research 2010;25(4):632-44.
  21. pdf Hamer M, Coombs N, Stamatakis E. Associations between objectively assessed and self-reported sedentary time with mental health in adults: an analysis of data from the Health Survey for England. BMJ open 2014;4(3):e004580.
  22. pdf Hamer M, Stamatakis E. Screen-based sedentary behavior, physical activity, and muscle strength in the English longitudinal study of ageing. PloS one 2013;8(6):e66222.
  23. pdf Tikkanen O, Haakana P, Pesola AJ, et al. Muscle activity and inactivity periods during normal daily life. PloS one 2013;8(1):e52228.
  24. pdf Dogra S, Stathokostas L. Sedentary behaviour and physical activity are independent predictors of successful aging in middle-aged and older adults. J Aging Phys Activ 2012;20:S250-S51.
  25. pdf Chastin SFM, Mandrichenko O, Helbostadt JL, et al. Associations between objectively-measured sedentary behaviour and physical activity with bone mineral density in adults and older adults, the NHANES study. Bone 2014;64:254-62.
  26. pdf Katzmarzyk PT. Standing and mortality in a prospective cohort of Canadian adults. Medicine and science in sports and exercise 2014;46(5):940-6.
  27. pdf Pronk NP, Katz AS, Lowry M, et al. Reducing occupational sitting time and improving worker health: the Take-a-Stand Project, 2011. Preventing chronic disease 2012;9:E154.
  28. pdf Roffey DM, Wai EK, Bishop P, et al. Causal assessment of occupational standing or walking and low back pain: results of a systematic review. The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society 2010;10(3):262-72.
  29. pdf Levine JA. Nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT): environment and biology. American journal of physiology Endocrinology and metabolism 2004;286(5):E675-85.
  30. Link Greer, A.E., Sui, X., Maslow, A.L., Greer, B.K. & Blair, S.N. (2015). The effects of sedentary behavior on metabolic syndrome independent of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. J Phys Act Health, 12, 68-73, doi: 10.1123/jpah.2013-0186.
  31. pdf Healy, G.N., Wijndaele, K., Dunstan, D.W., Shaw, J., Salmo, J., Zimmet, P.Z. & Owen, N. (2008). Objectively measured sedentary time, physical activity, and metabolic risk. The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Diabetes Care, 31, 369-371.
  32. pdf Dunstan, D.W., Salmon, J., Owen, N., Armstrong, T., Zimmet, P.Z., Welborn, T.A.,… Shaw, J.E. & AusDiab Steering Committee. (2005). Associations of TV viewing and physical activity with the metabolic syndrome in Australian adults. Diabetologia, 48, 2254-2261, doi: 10.1007/s00125-005-1963-4.
  33. pdf Tremblay, M.S., LeBlanc, A.G., Kho, M.E., Saunders, T.J., Larouche, R., Colley, R.C.,… Gorber, S.C. (2011). Systematic review of sedentary behaviour and health indicators in school-aged children and youth. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8, doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-98.
  34. pdf Ford, E.S. & Caspersen, C.J. (2012). Sedentary behaviour and cardiovascular disease: a review of prospective studies. Int. J. Epidemiol, 41, 1338-1353, doi: 10.1093/ije/dys078.
  35. pdf Edwardson, C.L., Gorely, T., Davies, M.J., Gray, L.J., Khunti K., Wilmot, E.G., … Biddle, S.J.H. (2012). Association of sedentary behaviour with metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis. PLoS One, 7, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034916
  36. pdf De Rezende, L. F. M., Rodrigues Lopes, M., Rey-López, J. P., Matsudo, V. K. R., & Luiz, O. do C. (2014). Sedentary behavior and health outcomes: An overview of systematic reviews. PLoS ONE, 9, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105620.
  37. pdf Buman, M.P., Winkler, E.A., Kurka, J.M., Hekler, E.B., Baldwin, C.M., Owen, N., … Gardiner, P.A. (2014). Reallocating time to sleep, sedentary behaviors, or active behaviors: associations with cardiovascular disease risk biomarkers, NHANES 2005-2006. Am J Epidemiol, 179, 323-34.
  38. pdf Lynch, B.M. (2010). Sedentary behavior and cancer: a systematic review of the literature and proposed biological mechanisms. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 19, 2691–2709.
  39. pdf Thorp, A.A., Owen, N., Neuhaus, M. & Dunstan, D.W. (2011). Sedentary behaviors and subsequent health outcomes in adults a systematic review of longitudinal studies, 1996–2011. Am J Prev Med, 41, 207–215.
  40. pdf Van Uffelen, J.G., Wong, J., Chau, J.Y., van der Ploeg, H.P., Riphagen I., Gilson, N.D., … Brown, W.J. (2010). Occupational sitting and health risks: A systematic review. Am J Prev Med, 39, 379–388.
  41. pdf Zhou, Y., Zhao, H. & Peng, C. (2015). Association of sedentary behaviour with the risk of breast cancer in women: Update meta-analysis of observational studies. Annals of Epidemiology, pii: S1047-2797(15)00192-1, doi:
  42. pdf Cong, Y.J., Gan, Y., Sun, H.L., Deng, J., Cao, S.Y., Xu, X. & Lu, Z.X. (2014). Association of sedentary behaviour with colon and rectal cancer: A meta-analysis of observational studies. British Journal of Cancer, 110, 817-826.
  43. pdf De Rezende, L.F.M., Rey-López, J.P., Matsudo, V.K.R., do Carmo Luiz, O. (2014). Sedentary behavior and health outcomes among older adults: a systematic review. BMC Pub Health, 14, doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-333.
  44. Link Patel, A.P., Hildebrand, J.S., Campbell, P.T., Teras, L.R., Craft, L.L., McCullough, M.L. & Gapstur, S.M. (2015). Leisure-time spent sitting and site-specific cancer incidence in a large US cohort. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0237.
  45. pdf Brocklebank, L.A., Falconer, C.A., Page, A.S., Perry, R. & Cooper, A.R. (2015). Accelerometer-measured sedentary time and cardiometabolic biomarkers. A systematic review. Preventive Medicine, 76, 92-102, doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.04.013.
  46. pdf Rockette-Wagner, B., Edelstein, S., Venditti, E.M., Reddy, D., Bray, G.A., Carrion-Petersen, M.L., … Kriska, A.M. & Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. (2015). The impact of lifestyle intervention on sedentary time in individuals at high risk of diabetes. Diabetologia, 58, 1198-1202.
  47. pdf Healy, G.N., Winkler, E.A.H., Brakenridge, C.L., Reeves, M.M. & Eakin, E.G. (2015). Accelerometer-derived sedentary and physical activity time in overweight/obese adults with type 2 diabetes: Cross-sectional associations with cardiometabolic biomarkers. PLoS ONE 10: e0119140, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119140.
  48. pdf Costigan, S.A., Barnett, L., Plotnikoff, R.C. & Lubans, D.R. (2013). The health indicators associated with screen-based sedentary behaviour among adolescent girls: A systematic review. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52, 382-392.
  49. pdf Wijndaele, K., Healy, G.N., Dunstan, D.W., Barnett, A.G., Salmon, J., Shaw, J.E., Zimmet, P.Z. & Owen, N. (2010). Increased cardiometabolic risk is associated with increased TV viewing time. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 42, 1511-8, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181d322ac.
  50. Link Lee, P.H. & Wong, F.K.Y. (2015). The association between time spent in sedentary behaviors and blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 45, 867-880.
  51. Link Aldington, S., Pritchard, A., Perrin, K., James, K., Wijesinghe, M. & Beasley, R. (2008). Prolonged seated immobility at work is a common risk factor for venous thromboembolism leading to hospital admission. Intern Med J., 38, 133-135.
  52. pdf Kabrhel, C., Varraso, R., Goldhaber, S.Z., Rimm, E. & Camargo, C.A.Jr. (2011). Physical inactivity and idiopathic pulmonary embolism in women: prospective study. BMJ, 4, doi: 10.1136/bmj.d3867.
  53. pdf Healy, B., Levin, E., Perrin, K., Weatherall, M. & Beasley, R. (2010). Prolonged work- and computer-related seated immobility and risk of venous thromboembolism. J R Soc Med, 103, 447-454.
  54. pdf West, J., Perrin, K., Aldington, S., Weatherall, M. & Beasley, R. (2008). A case-control study of seated immobility at work as a risk factor for venous thromboembolism. J R Soc Med, 101, 237-243.
  55. pdf Healy, G.N., Winkler, E.A.H., Owen, N., Anuradha, S. & Dunstan, D.W. (2015). Replacing sitting time with standing or stepping: associations with cardio-metabolic risk biomarkers. European Heart Journal, 36, 2643-2649.
  56. pdf Teychenne, M., Costigan, S.A. & Parker, K. (2015). The association between sedentary behaviour and risk of anxiety: A systematic review. BMC Public Health, 15, doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1843-x.
  57. Link Zhai, L., Zhang, Y., & Zhang, D. (2015). Sedentary behaviour and the risk of depression: a meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med, 49, 70-709.
  58. pdf Van Uffelen, J.G., van Gellecum, Y.R., Burton, N.W., Peeters, G., Heesch, K.C. & Brown, W.J. (2013). Sitting-time, physical activity, and depressive symptoms in mid-aged women. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 45, 276-281.
  59. pdf Shu-Mei Chen, Mei-Fang Liu, Jill Cook, Shona Bass, Sing Kai Lo (2009). Sedentary lifestyle as a risk factor for low back pain: a systematic review. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 82, 797-806.
  60. pdf IJmker, S., Huysmans, M.A., Blatter, B.M., van der Beek, A.J., van Mechelen, W. & Bongers, P.M. (2007). Should office workers spend fewer hours at their computer? A systematic review of the literature. Occup Environ Med, 64, 211–222.
  61. pdf Gupta, N., Stordal Christiansen, C., Hallman, D.M., Korshoj, M., Gomes Carneiro, I. & Holtermann, A. (2015). Is objectively measured sitting time associated with low back pain? A cross-sectional investigation in the NOMAD study. PLoS One, 10, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121159.
  62. pdf Chastin, S.F.M., Egerton, T., Leask, C. & Stamatakis, E. (2015). Meta-analysis of the relationship between breaks in sedentary behaviour and cardiometabolic health. Obesity, 23, 1800-1810.
  63. pdf Peddie, M.C., Bone, J.L., Rehrer, N.J., Skeaff, C.M., Gray, A.R. & Perry, T.L. (2013). Breaking prolonged sitting reduces postprandial glycemia in healthy, normal-weight adults: A randomized crossover trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 98, 358-66.
  64. pdf Chau, J.Y., Grunseit, A.C., Chey, T., Stamatakis, E., Brown, W.J., Matthews, C.E., Bauman, A.E. & van der Ploeg, H.P. (2013). Daily sitting time and all-cause mortality: A meta-analysis. Plos One, 8, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080000.
  65. pdf Schmid, D., Ricci, C. & Leitzmann, M.F. (2015). Associations of objectively assessed physical activity and sedentary time with all-cause mortality in US adults: the NHANES study. Plos One, 10: e0119591, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119591.
  66. pdf Stamatakis, E., Chau, J.Y., Pedisic, Z., Bauman, A., Macniven, R., Coombs, N. & Hamer, H. (2013). Are sitting occupations associated with increased all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease mortality risk? A pooled analysis of seven British population cohorts. Plos One, 8:e73753. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073753.
  67. pdf Petersen, C.B., Bauman, A., Gronbaek, M., Helge, J.W., Thygesen, L.C. & Tolstrup, J.S. (2014). Total sitting time and risk of myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality in a prospective cohort of Danish adults. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11, doi:10.1186/1479-5868-11-13.
  68. pdf Lee, J., Kuk, J.L. & Ardern, C.I. (2015). The relationship between changes in sitting time and mortality in post-menopausal US women. J Public Health, doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv055.
  69. pdf Van der Ploeg, H.P., Moller, S.V., Hannerz, H., van der Beek, A.J. & Holtermann, A. (2015). Temporal changes in occupational sitting time in the Danish workforce and associations with all-cause mortality: results from the Danish work environment cohort study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12, doi:10.1186/s12966-015-0233-1.
  70. pdf Van der Ploeg, H.P., Chey, T., Ding, D., Chau, J.Y., Stamatakis, E. & Bauman, A.E. (2014). Standing time and all-cause mortality in a large cohort of Australian adults. Preventive Medicine, 69, 187-191.
  71. pdf Van der Ploeg, H.P., Chey, T., Korda, R.J., Banks, E. & Bauman, A. (2012). Sitting time and all-cause mortality risk in 222 497 Australian adults. Arch Intern Med, 172, 494-500.
  72. Link Thosar, S.S., Bielko, S.L., Mather, K.J., Johnston, J.D. & Wallace, J.P. (2015). Effect of prolonged sitting and breaks in sitting time on endothelial function. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 47, 843-9, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000479.
  73. Link McManus, A.M., Ainslie, P.N., Green, D.J., Simair, R.G., Smith, K. & Lewis, N. (2015). Impact of prolonged sitting on vascular function in young girls. Exp Physiol, 100, 1379-87, doi: 10.1113/EP085355.
  74. Link Vallance J.K, Winkler E.A, Gardiner, P.A,et al. (2011). Associations of objectively-assessed physical activity and sedentary time with depression: NHANES (2005–2006). Prev Med, 53, 284–8.
  75. pdf Liu, M., Wu, L. & Yao, S. (2015). Dose-response association of screen time-based sedentary behaviour in children and adolescents and depression: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Br J Sports Med, 0, 1-8, doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-095084.
  76. pdf Hallman, D.M., Gupta, N., Mathiassen, S.E. & Holtermann, A. (2015). Association between objectively measured sitting time and neck-shoulder pain among blue-collar workers. Int Arch Occup Environ Health, 88, 1031-1042.
  77. pdf Gracia-Marco, L., Rey-Lopez, J.P., Santaliestra-Pasias, A.M., Jimenez-Pavon, D., Diaz, L.E., Moreno, L.A. & Vicente-Rodriguez, G. (2012). Sedentary behaviours and its association with bone mass is adolescents : the HELENA cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 12, 867-80, doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0322-y.
  78. pdf Chastin, S.F.M., Mandrichenko, O. & Skelton, D. (2014). The frequency of osteogenic activities and the pattern of intermittence between periods of physical activity and sedentary behaviour affects bone mineral content: the cross-sectional NHANES study. BMC Public Health, 14, 976-82, doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2014.04.011.
  79. Link Matthews, C.E., Moore, S.C., Sampson, J., Blair, A., Xiao, Q., Keadle, S.K., Hollenbeck, A. & Park, Y. (2015). Mortality benefits for replacing sitting time with different physical activities. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 47, 1833-40, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000621.
  80. pdf Stamatakis, E., Rogers, K., Ding, D., Berrigan, D., Chau, J., Hamer, M. & Bauman, A. (2015). All-cause mortality effects of replacing sedentary time with physical activity and sleeping using an isotemporal substitution model: a prospective study of 201,129 mid-aged and older adults. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12, DOI 10.1186/s12966-015-0280-7.
  81. pdf Pulsford, R.M., Stamatakis, E., Britton, A.R., Brunner, E.J. & Hillsdon, M. (2015). Associations of sitting behaviours with all-cause mortality over a 16-year follow up: the Whitehall II study. International Journal of Epidemiology, 0, 1-8, doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv191.