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Employees in Hong Kong sit down for 13 hours a day on average, making them the least active group in the city. Retirees spend the least amount of time sitting down, 6.7 hours daily on average.
These are some of the findings released by the University of Hong Kong’s Sau Po Centre on Ageing. The centre conducted a survey among 631 Hongkongers asking them about their daily sitting habits. Of the respondents, 47% were employees, 27% retirees, 10% students, and 10% were self-employed.
Perhaps not surprisingly, employees were the group who spend the most time sitting down, indicating to sit down on a chair or sofa 13 hours a day on average. Given the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle, 13 hours isn’t great to begin with. Some studies classify anything over three hours as excessive sitting, which can result in a decreased life expectancy.
Worryingly, a quarter of the surveyed Hong Kong employees indicated they manage to spend over 17.3 hours per day sitting down. Assuming they only get 24 hours in a day like the rest of us, that leaves them with only 6.7 hours, most of which they presumably spend in bed.
“Elderly people don’t mind going out and making multiple trips a day, whereas those who are employed have to spend a lot of time sitting down because they may be restricted by their job duties,” centre director Vivian Lou Weiqun told the South China Morning Post.
Although working in an office may be a contributor to a sedentary lifestyle, on days off the same group still spends up to 11 hours sitting down, mostly while using their mobile phone or doing extra office work.
Dr Josiah Au Yeung Wang-kee, a specialist in spinal injuries and disorders, told the South China Morning Post that sitting puts twice the amount of pressure on the spine compared to when people are standing. He advised people to stretch or stand up every 15 minutes, or at the least once an hour.
Photo / 123RF