Table 1

Examples of countries with official sedentary behaviour public health guidelines for adults

Country, year, issuing bodySedentary behaviour guideline component 1Sedentary behaviour guideline component 2
Australia, 2014, Department of Health15 Minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting* Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible*
Germany, 2017, German Federal Ministry of Health18 Adults and older adults should avoid long periods of sitting Adults and older adults should break up sitting time by physical activity whenever possible
New Zealand, 2015, New Zealand Ministry of Health16 Sit less Break up long periods of sitting
Norway, 2014, Norwegian Directorate of Health19 Sedentary time should be reduced* Long periods of sedentary behaviour should be interrupted with activity breaks*
UK, 2011, Department of Health/The Four Home Countries’ Chief Medical Officers12 All adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.§ Taking regular breaks at work; breaking up sedentary time such as swapping a long bus or car journey for walking part of the way§
  • *The two components appear in the same sentence/as one recommendation.

  • †The two components appear as separate recommendations.

  • ‡The two components appear as one recommendation but in different sentences.

  • §In the UK guidelines, sedentary breaks appear as an example of how to minimise sedentary behaviour. In the full guidelines document explanatory notes. it is stated that ‘based on the current evidence, reducing total sedentary time and breaking up extended periods of sitting is strongly recommended’.