Table 4

Questions on sedentary behaviour for adults and children in national surveys since 2008

CountrySurveyPopulationYearMost recent prevalence statistics
EnglandHealth Survey for EnglandAdults?BEEEBXXXB†Mean: 4.7 hours/weekday33
Children?XDXXDXXXD†Mean: 3.0 hours/weekday27
Northern IrelandHealth Survey for Northern IrelandAdultsBEXB?XX44% adults report ≥4 hours/weekday35
Young Persons’ Behaviour and Attitudes SurveyChildrenSSSNot reported
ScotlandScottish Health SurveyAdultsAAAAAAXGXGMean: 5.2 hours/weekday34
ChildrenCCCCCCXXXGMean: 3.4 hours/weekday34
Welsh Health Survey*AdultsFXXXXXXXNone published
WalesNational Survey for WalesAdultsXN/A
ChildrenS81% report ≥2 hours screen time/weekday67
England, Scotland, WalesHealth Behaviour in School-Aged ChildrenChildrenSS61%–68% report watching TV/DVDs for ≥2 hours/weekday24–26
  • Surveys crossing successive years (eg, 2015–2016) are reported under the second year. Blank cells indicate survey not conducted in that year or years when the National Survey for Wales did not include questions on health. Questionnaires for adults apply to those aged 16+, questionnaires for children apply to those aged 2 to 15.

  • Key (see online supplementary table 3 for full description of questions): A: sum of behaviours (work; TV; other (not TV not work)), long recall period; B: sum of behaviours (work (sit and stand); TV; other (not TV not work)), long recall period; C: sum of behaviours (TV; other (not TV, not school)), unanchored recall period; D: sum of behaviours (TV; other (not TV, not school)), previous week recall period; E and F: single-item direct measure, previous week recall period; G: single-item proxy measure (TV), long recall period (previous 4 weeks); S: asked questions about screen time, which cannot be directly ascribed to sitting; X: no questions asked about SB; ? indicates documentation not yet published/not clear from documentation; N/A, not applicable.

  • *Included in table as it was one of a number of surveys to be combined into the National Survey for Wales.

  • †Additionally, piloted device-based measurement, using hip-worn ActiGraph (not a postural measure of sitting).

  • ‡Sitting time at work/school not included in these estimates.