A practical guidance for assessments of sedentary behavior at work: A PEROSH initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sedentary behavior is defined as sitting or lying with low energy expenditure. Humans in industrialized societies spend an increasing amount of time in sedentary behaviors every day. This has been associated with detrimental health outcomes. Despite a growing interest in the health effects of sedentary behavior at work, associations remain unclear, plausibly due to poor and diverse methods for assessing sedentary behavior. Thus, good practice guidance for researchers and practitioners on how to assess occupational sedentary behavior are needed. The aim of this paper is to provide a practical guidance for practitioners and researchers on how to assess occupational sedentary behavior. Ambulatory systems for use in field applications (wearables) are a promising approach for sedentary behavior assessment. Many different small-size consumer wearables, with long battery life and high data storage capacity are commercially available today. However, no stand-alone commercial system is able to assess sedentary behavior in accordance with its definition. The present paper offers decision support for practitioners and researchers in selecting wearables and data collection strategies for their purpose of study on sedentary behavior. Valid and reliable assessment of occupational sedentary behavior is currently not easy. Several aspects need to be considered in the decision process on how to assess sedentary behavior. There is a need for development of a cheap and easily useable wearable for assessment of occupational sedentary behavior by researchers and practitioners


  • Andreas Holtermann
  • Vera Schellewald
  • Svend Erik Mathiassen
  • Nidhi Gupta
  • Andrew Pinder
  • Anne Punakallio
  • Kaj Bo Veiersted
  • Britta Weber
  • Esa-Pekka Takala
  • Francesco Draicchio
  • Kevin Desbrosses
  • Maria Peñahora García Sanz
  • Marzena Malińska
  • María Villar
  • Michael Wichtl
  • Michaela Strebl
  • Mikael Forsman
  • Sirpa Lusa
  • Tomasz Tokarski
  • Peter Vang Hendriksen
  • R Ellegast
External organisations
  • Umeå University
  • Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
  • German Sport University Cologne
  • Health and Safety Laboratory
  • National Institute of Occupational Health, Norway
  • Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA)
  • National Institute for Insurance Against Accidents at Work (INAIL)
  • French National Research and Safety Institute for the Prevention of Occupational Accidents and Diseases (INRS)
  • Spanish National Institute for Safety and Hygiene at Work (INSHT)
  • Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute (CIOP-PIB)
  • Austrian Workers' Compensation Board (AUVA)
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • National Research Centre for the Working Environment
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
  • Medical Ergonomics
  • Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep
Publication categoryResearch