Many factors influence how sedentary you are, such as your neighbourhood, social network and economic resources. While you don’t have control over all of these elements of your life, finding ways to move more throughout your day will benefit your overall health and well-being.
Reducing sedentary behaviour is often difficult because of the organization of our daily lives. We often work far from home and sit in traffic to get there. Our jobs require us to sit for long periods of the day. Some people have flexibility about how and where they work, or can arrange a stand-up desk to help increase their mobility throughout the day. Others can choose to have walking meetings, breaking up the day with exercise, or standing up to talk on the phone.
Women may be more likely to have jobs where they have limited opportunity to change the structure of their workplace and, as a result, have fewer chances to reduce the amount of time they spend sitting.
While many of us use computers at work all day, some people also use the computer during their leisure time. Heavy leisure-time computer users - those who report spending 11 or more hours per week on the computer - are
often younger, unmarried and male. Individuals who are unemployed are also likely to spend considerable leisure-time using a computer.
Watching TV is another common sedentary behaviour.
Television and computers are easily accessible and seemingly low cost entertainment options for everyone.
The good news is society is becoming aware of the need to reduce sedentary behavior. Activity friendly policies in schools are teaching children to move more throughout their school day; adults are encouraged to move more at work and at home.