How much time do Americans spend sitting?

April 23, 2019

Bottom Line: Americans spend more time sitting. Total time spent sitting increased about an hour per day to 8.2 hours for adolescents and 6.4 hours for adults in 2007-2016 in this analysis of nationally representative survey data. Data from nearly 52,000 children, adolescents and adults from 2001-2016 were used to examine trends over time in sedentary behaviors among the U.S. population. An estimated 62 percent of children, 59 percent of adolescents and 65 percent of adults sat watching television or videos at least 2 hours a day in 2015-2016, with generally stable trends since 2001. The estimated proportion of people who used computers an hour a day or more during leisure time increased across all age groups from 43 percent to 56 percent among children from 2001-2016; from 53 percent to 57 percent among adolescents from 2003-2016; and from 29 percent to 50 percent among adults from 2003-2016. It is possible the self-reported sedentary behaviors in this study may not reflect the true amount of sitting, however, trends over time will less likely to be affected by errors from self-reports.

Authors: Yin Cao, M.P.H., Sc.D., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jama.2019.3636)

Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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JAMA

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