Non-occupational sitting and mental well-being in employed adults

Andrew J. Atkin, Emma Adams, Fiona C. Bull, Stuart J. H. Biddle

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53 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Emerging evidence suggests that sedentary behaviour may be adversely associated with physical health, but few studies have examined the association with mental well-being. 

Purpose: This study examined the association of four non-occupational sedentary behaviours, individually and in total, with mental well-being in employed adults. 

Methods: Baseline data from the evaluation of Well@Work, a national workplace health promotion project conducted in the UK, were used. Participants self-reported sitting time whilst watching television, using a computer, socialising and travelling by motorised transport. Mental well-being was assessed by the 12-item version of the general health questionnaire. Analyses were conducted using multiple linear regression. 

Results: In models adjusted for multiple confounders, TV viewing, computer use and total non-occupational sitting time were adversely associated with general health questionnaire-12 assessed mental well-being in women. Computer use only was found to be adversely associated with mental well-being in men. 

Conclusion: Sedentary behaviour may be adversely associated with mental well-being in employed adults. The association may be moderated by gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date8 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Sitting time
  • Mental well-being
  • Effect modification
  • Journal Article

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