Fibion Blog • Where do your sitting hours come from? • Arto Pesola

Where do your sitting hours come from?


Where do your sitting hours come from?

Where in the world do all those hours of sitting actually come from? Our hours of sitting quickly add up to a shocking total because so much of our life revolves around sitting.

On an average day we sit

  • 5 hours and 41 minutes at work
  • 1 hour and 23 minutes while eating
  • 43 minutes while reading
  • 2 hours and 12 minutes while watching television
  • 6 minutes while spending time with our family members (only!)
  • 45 minutes while on the computer at home, and this number is just growing

During different stages of our lives we sit per day

  • Kindergarteners: 6 hours and 40 minutes
  • Elementary school children: 8 hours and 0 minutes
  • High school students: 8 hours and 54 minutes
  • Adults: 9 hours and 7 minutes

The number of hours spent sitting in different professions per day

  • Office workers: 6 hours and 40 minutes
  • Customer service employees: 5 hours and 32 minutes
  • Teachers: 4 hours and 55 minutes
  • Entrepreneurs: 7 hours and 18 minutes

Sitting in over half hour blocks

This is especially important provided that prolonged sitting is more hazardous than sitting in short bouts:

  • In office work approximately 41 % of the work day
  • During free time approximately 23 % of the time
  • 82 % of office workers do not fulfill the recommendation to take a break from sitting every half an hour.

As a consequence, adults sit an average of 9–11 hours per day. As you can imagine from these staggering numbers, one of the main reason for the hazards of sitting is that we are sitting so much. Replacing sitting with standing as part of everyday routines can therefore make a big difference.

It is important to note that when asked, people typically underestimate their sitting time. Measuring sitting is often a good way to learn where do all the sitting hours appear to our lives, and take the small steps towards even a little bit more active lifestyle.



Arto Pesola
Arto Pesola

Everyday Activity Scientist


Fibion Inc.

PhD in Exercise Physiology, Author of the 'Revolution of Natural Exercise' book

Some years ago, I was asked about my future plans. Without much of thinking I replied: “I want to make the world a better place where people don’t need to sit so much”. This spontaneous answer was the leading light to finish my PhD degree and forward to new business opportunities in health technology aiming at making life healthier - with less sitting. For my blog posts, I have used material from my book "Luomuliikunnan vallankumous" (engl. The revolution of everyday activity) (Fitra 2014).