Statement about sedentary behaviour

The risks of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour can no longer be seen as synonymous. Sedentary behaviour comes with its own individual risks, independent of the persons physical activity status. Research from Belfast University showed that in 2016 11.6% of deaths in the UK were associated with sedentary behaviour and if sedentary behaviour was to be eliminated then approximately 69,276 deaths could have been prevented.

There is a large body of evidence which suggests that decreasing any type of sedentary time is associated with lower health risk in children and young people. A systematic review completed in 2011 determined that increased sedentary time was associated with negative health outcomes in both boys and girls. In particular there were 4 where the evidence suggested that daily TV viewing in excess of 2 hours is associated with reduced physical health and emotional wellbeing, and that lowering sedentary time can lead to a reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI).

Higher levels of sedentary behaviour can be found in similar populations to high levels of physical inactivity, including older adults, disabled people, those with a long-term health condition, people from ethnic minority communities and people with a lower socioeconomic status.