Standing or walking versus sitting on the job in 2016

March 01, 2017

Most jobs require some standing or walking and some sitting. Across all civilian jobs in 2016, workers needed to spend an average of 61.0 percent of the workday standing or walking and 39.0 percent of the workday sitting. The mix of standing versus sitting varied by the occupation. For example, waiters and waitresses spent 96.3 percent of their workday standing or walking and just 3.7 percent sitting.

 

 

Percent of workday spent standing or walking versus sitting, selected occupations, 2016
Occupation Standing or walking Sitting

All jobs

61.0% 39.0%

Waiters and waitresses

96.3 3.7

Welders, cutters, and welder fitters

90.0 10.0

Retail salespersons

89.2 10.8

Electricians

88.2 11.8

Pharmacists

78.1 21.9

Elementary school teachers, except special education

74.5 25.5

Physical therapists

73.6 26.4

Childcare workers

68.0 32.0

Emergency medical technicians and paramedics

47.5 52.5

Librarians

46.7 53.3

Mechanical engineers

26.3 73.7

Human resources managers

24.6 75.4

Lawyers

24.1 75.9

Insurance sales agents

19.7 80.3

Accountants

19.3 80.7

Bus drivers, school or special client

17.6 82.4

Software developers, applications

10.0 90.0

Welders, cutters, and welder fitters spent an average of 90.0 percent of their workday standing or walking. Other occupations in which workers spent much of their workday on their feet include retail salespersons (89.2 percent), electricians (88.2 percent), and pharmacists (78.1 percent).

Software developers, applications, spent an average of 90.0 percent of their workday sitting in 2016. Other occupations in which workers sit most of the day include bus drivers, school or special client, who spent an average of 82.4 percent of their workday sitting, accountants (80.7 percent), and insurance sales agents (80.3 percent).

These data are from the Occupational Requirements Survey. To learn more, see "Occupational Requirements in the United States — 2016" (HTML) (PDF).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Standing or walking versus sitting on the job in 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/standing-or-walking-versus-sitting-on-the-job-in-2016.htm (visited November 23, 2017).

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