What is the science behind Rise & Recharge?

Rise & Recharge is based on scientific research showing that regular movement at work reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.

The health implications of prolonged sitting

Our modern environment has changed drastically in recent decades, there have been significant changes in the way we work, communicate and travel. Almost all of these changes have resulted in our bodies moving less.

While there has been much focus on the need for regular moderate to vigorous exercise, there is growing interest in the benefits of sitting less.

Sedentary behavior, defined as periods of inactivity whilst sitting, contributes to negative cardiometabolic health outcomes and premature mortality.

Studies have indicated physical inactivity as being the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. Approximately 6% to 10% of deaths from non-communicable diseases can be attributed to physical inactivity (Lee et al. 2012).

Compared with more active people, adults with higher levels of sedentary behaviour have an increased risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, some cancers, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (Grontved et al. 2011, Dunstan et al. 2010, Biswas et al. 2015, de Rezende et al. 2014). Specifically a 24% increased risk for death from all-causes, 14% increased risk of heart disease, 13% increased risk of cancer and 91% increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Higher levels of time spent sitting are adversely associated with several clinical health outcomes in the general adult population. These include elevated levels of risk factors for chronic disease such as waist circumference and blood glucose, insulin, and blood fat.

People largely underestimate how many hours they spend sitting during their day, including time spent sitting at a computer/device, commuting, driving and sitting in front of the television.

While people are being increasingly sedentary in all aspects of life, for many adults the occupational setting is where a large proportion of daily sedentary time is accumulated (Parry & Straker 2013). Office workers spend at least two-thirds of their working hours being sedentary (Thorpe et al. 2012, Ryan et al. 2011).

The risk of mortality increases by 5% for each hour spent sitting beyond seven hours per day (Chau et al. 2013).

Compared with people who sit less, people who sit for more than eight hours a day are at a 15% greater risk of early death, and those who sit for longer than 11 hours a day are at a 40% greater risk of early death after accounting for age, smoking and other factors. The average Australian adult sits for about nine hours each day.

Many people who regularly participate in moderate to vigorous exercise do not consider themselves sedentary, however the research has also found that regular exercise does not offset all of the negative effects of sitting for long periods of time.

Browse all of the Baker Institute's research on this topic...

Read more about the research on this topic that is currently underway at the Baker Institute...


Biswas A., Oh P.I., Faulkner G.E., Bajaj R.R., Silver M.A., Mitchell M.S. and Alter D.A. (2015) Sedentary time and its association with risk for disease incidence, mortality, and hospitalization in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine, Volume 162, No.2, pp.123–132.
Chau J.Y., Grunseit A.C., Chey T., Stamatakis E., Brown W.J., Matthews C.E., Bauman A.E. and van der Ploeg H.P. (2013) Daily sitting time and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis. PLoS One, 8(11):e80000.
de Rezende L.F., Rodrigues Lopes M., Rey-López J.P., Matsudo V.K.R. and Luiz O.C. (2014) Sedentary behavior and health outcomes: an overview of systematic reviews. PLoS One, 9(8):e105620.
Dunstan D.W., Barr E.L.M., Healy G.N., Salmon J., Shaw J.E., Balkau B., Magliano D.J., Cameron A.J., Zimmet P.Z. and Owen N. (2010) Television viewing time and mortality: the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). (2010) Circulation, Volume 121, Issue 3, pp.384—391.
Grontved A and Hu FB. (2011) Television viewing and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis. JAMA, Volume 305, No.23, pp.2448–2455.
Lee I.M., Shiroma E.J., Lobelo F., Puska P., Blair S.N. and Katzmarzyk P.T. (2012) Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. The Lancet, Volume 380, Issue 9838, pp.219–229
Parry S. and Straker L. (2013) The contribution of office work to sedentary behaviour associated risk. BMC Public Health, Volume 13, p.296.
Ryan C.G., Dall P.M., Granat M.H. and Grant P.M. (2011) Sitting patterns at work: objective measurement of adherence to current recommendations. Ergonomics, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp.531–538.
Thorp A.A., Healy G.N., Winkler E., Clark B.K., Gardiner P.A., Owen N. and Dunstan D.W. (2012) Prolonged sedentary time and physical activity in workplace and non-work contexts: a cross-sectional study of office, customer service and call centre employees. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Volume 9, p.128.