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Civilian workers spent an average of 57.3 percent of the workday standing in 2020

January 04, 2021

Civilian workers spent an average of 4.25 hours of the workday standing in 2020. Workers stood for 57.3 percent of the workday and sat for the remaining 42.7 percent. Workers in food preparation and serving related occupations spent 97.6 percent of the workday standing to perform job tasks, while workers in computer and mathematical occupations spent 87.1 percent of the workday sitting.

Percent of the workday spent sitting and standing by occupation in 2020
Occupation Sitting Standing

Food preparation and serving related

2.4% 97.6%

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

13.8 86.2

Production

17.8 82.2

Construction and extraction

19.3 80.7

Installation, maintenance, and repair

20.1 79.9

Farming, fishing, and forestry

22.0 78.0

Personal care and service

24.0 76.0

Healthcare support

29.0 71.0

Sales and related

31.2 68.8

Healthcare practitioners and technical

35.5 64.5

Transportation and material moving

35.6 64.4

Educational instruction and library

39.6 60.4

All workers

42.7 57.3

Protective service

45.8 54.2

Life, physical, and social science

64.2 35.8

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

66.0 34.0

Community and social service

66.2 33.8

Management

70.0 30.0

Architecture and engineering

73.3 26.7

Office and administrative support

78.3 21.7

Legal

81.1 18.9

Business and financial operations

85.9 14.1

Computer and mathematical

87.1 12.9

Workers in production occupations spent an average of 6.77 hours each workday standing and 1.45 hours sitting. Workers in computer and mathematical occupations, in contrast, spent 6.91 hours sitting and 1.02 hours standing.

Number of hours of the workday spent sitting and standing by occupation in 2020
Occupation Sitting Standing Total

Protective service

4.32 5.12 9.44

Healthcare practitioners and technical

2.95 5.47 8.42

Construction and extraction

1.64 6.67 8.31

Production

1.45 6.77 8.22

Legal

6.63 1.56 8.19

Installation, maintenance, and repair

1.64 6.49 8.13

Management

5.60 2.46 8.06

Architecture and engineering

5.91 2.14 8.05

Business and financial operations

6.88 1.13 8.01

Life, physical, and social science

5.10 2.88 7.98

Computer and mathematical

6.91 1.02 7.93

Transportation and material moving

2.89 4.86 7.75

Office and administrative support

6.05 1.62 7.67

Community and social service

5.04 2.59 7.63

All workers

3.37 4.25 7.62

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

1.04 6.29 7.33

Educational instruction and library

2.83 4.40 7.23

Healthcare support

2.08 5.04 7.12

Farming, fishing, and forestry

1.41 5.63 7.04

Sales and related

2.47 4.41 6.88

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

4.63 2.19 6.82

Food preparation and serving related

0.18 6.18 6.36

Personal care and service

1.63 4.63 6.26

These data are from the Occupational Requirements Survey. We also have more information on job requirements for sitting and standing. You can download the complete dataset or get the data through the BLS database.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Civilian workers spent an average of 57.3 percent of the workday standing in 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/civilian-workers-spent-an-average-of-57-3-percent-of-the-workday-standing-in-2020.htm (visited May 15, 2021).

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