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Don't sit all day

Many of us spend much of our day sitting down. Even if we exercise regularly, the rest of the time we spend not moving can be bad for us. Even when people engage in 2.5 hours per week of physical activity, what happens in the remaining approximately 108 hours of the waking week is important for health.

Breaking up regular sitting time is important – even small breaks from prolonged sitting are good for health. Try to break up sitting time for at least a few minutes every hour (preferably more) and limit the time spent in front of a screen.

At work/study

Height-adjustable tables allow for changing between sitting and standing.

  • Break up long periods of sitting by standing regularly to stretch or take phone calls.
  • Stand during meetings or when reading.
  • Walk to colleagues instead of phone, texting or emailing them.
  • Take regular standing breaks while driving.


  • Replace regular car journeys with public transport or active transport where possible.
  • Try walking, cycling or scooting short trips.
  • Reduce sitting time during travel by standing on buses, trains and ferries.
  • Get off the bus/train one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.
  • Take regular breaks.


  • Limit TV/computer use or other seated activities when at home.
  • During leisure time, turn off the TV/computer/tablet and go for a walk.
  • Stand up and stretch when the ad breaks come on TV.
  • Stand up while fishing, preparing kai, checking emails or making phone calls.

Seated activities

Seated activities that use a lot of energy, like waka ama, wheelchair sports, rowing and cycling, are all excellent ways to get moving and can reduce your risk of poor health. Seated activities can help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and being overweight or obese.

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