Article Text

Download PDFPDF
A tool for measuring workers' sitting time by domain: the Workforce Sitting Questionnaire
  1. Josephine Y Chau1,
  2. Hidde P van der Ploeg1,
  3. Scott Dunn2,
  4. John Kurko2,
  5. Adrian E Bauman1
  1. 1Prevention Research Collaboration, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Heart Foundation, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Josephine Y Chau, Prevention Research Collaboration, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Level 2 Medical Foundation Building K25, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; josephine.chau{at}


Background Sitting time is an emerging health risk, and many working adults spend large amounts of time sitting each day. It is important to have reliable and accurate measurement tools to assess sitting time in different contexts.

Objective To validate the Workforce Sitting Questionnaire (WSQ), an adapted measure of total and domain-specific sitting time based on work and non-workdays for use in working adults.

Methods A convenience sample (N=95, 63.2% women) was recruited from two workplaces and by word-of-mouth in Sydney, Australia. Participants completed the WSQ, which asked about sitting time (1) while travelling to and from places; (2) while at work; (3) while watching TV; (4) while using a computer at home; and (5) while doing other leisure activities on work and non-workdays on two occasions, 7 days apart. Participants also wore an accelerometer for the 7 days between test and retest. They recorded the times they wore the accelerometer, the days they worked and their work times in a logbook. Analyses determined test–retest reliability with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and assessed criterion validity against accelerometers using Spearman's r and Bland–Altman plots.

Results Measuring total sitting time based on a workday, non-workday and on average had fair to excellent test–retest reliability (ICC=0.46–0.90) and had sufficient criterion validity against accelerometry in women (r=0.22–0.46) and men (r=0.18–0.29). Measuring domain-specific sitting at work on a workday was also reliable (ICC=0.63) and valid (r=0.45).

Conclusions The WSQ has acceptable measurement properties for measuring sitting time at work on a workday and for assessing total sitting time based on work and non-workdays. This questionnaire would be suitable for use in research investigating the relationships between sitting time and health in working populations.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding This study was supported by funding from Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Program Grant #301200 and from the Heart Foundation, New South Wales, Australia. JYC was supported by a University of Sydney Postgraduate Award.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.