Identifying typologies of diurnal patterns in desk-based workers’ sedentary time

Sayaka Kurosawa*, Ai Shibata, Kaori Ishii, MohammadJavad Koohsari, Koichiro Oka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to identify typologies of diurnal sedentary behavior patterns and sociodemographic characteristics of desk-based workers. The sedentary time of 229 desk-based workers was measured using accelerometer devices. The within individual diurnal variations in sedentary time was calculated for both workdays and non-workdays. Diurnal variations in sedentary time during each time period (morning, afternoon, and evening) was calculated as the percentage of sedentary time during each time period divided by the percentage of the total sedentary time. A hierarchical cluster analysis (Ward’s method) was used to identify the optimal number of clusters. To refine the initial clusters, a non-hierarchical cluster analysis (k-means method) was performed. Four clusters were identified: stable sedentary cluster (46.7%), off-morning break cluster (26.6%), off-afternoon break cluster (8.3%), and evening sedentary cluster (18.3%). The stable sedentary cluster had the lowest variations in sedentary time throughout the day and the highest amount of total sedentary time. Participants in the off-morning and off-afternoon break clusters had nearly the same sedentary patterns but took short-term breaks during non-workday mornings or afternoons. The evening sedentary cluster had a completely different pattern, with a longer sedentary time during the evening both on workdays and non-workdays. Sociodemographic attributes such as sex, household income, educational attainment, employment status, sleep duration, and residential area, differed significantly between groups. Initiatives to address desk-based workers’ sedentary behavior need to focus not only on the workplace but also on the appropriate timing for reducing excessive sedentary time in non-work contexts depending on the characteristics and diurnal patterns of target subgroups.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0248304
JournalPloS one
Issue number4 April 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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