May 21,

Sedentary Behaviour

Sedentary Behaviour

What is sedentary behaviour?

Sedentary behaviour is any activity that requires very little movement and is often done sitting or lying down. These activities include watching television, using a computer, and sitting in a motor vehicle.

While physical activity decreases your risk for many chronic diseases, sedentary activities increase your risk. Even for individuals who are “active” and meet their weekly physical activity guidelines, high levels of sedentary behaviour are associated with negative health outcomes.

While formal sedentary guidelines for older adults have not been developed yet, research suggests that after sitting for 60 minutes, we should get up, stretch and move for at least 1-3 minutes.

“Sit less, Move more

Tips to help reduce sedentary time

  • Take frequent, short breaks from sitting. Breaks as short as standing or moving for 1–3 minutes can be beneficial
  • Walk or take public transit whenever you can, as opposed to driving
  • Walk around while you are talking on the phone.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend sitting – watching TV, using a computer, reading, etc.



Region of Waterloo Public Health,

Canadian Cancer Society,

Last modified on Feb 06, 2015