15 cities with the most workers sitting or standing

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on HireAHelper.

In recent years, public health officials have tried to raise awareness about the negative effects of a common daily activity: sitting.

While sitting can be helpful for resting and maintaining the body, sitting for long periods of time with limited physical activity reduces energy expenditure and cardiovascular fitness, which contributes to a number of health issues. Sitting can increase the risk of obesity, blood clots, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol.

It can also increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. It affects posture, stiffens joints, and helps with tightness and tension in the back, hamstrings, and hips. With this long list of potential health consequences, some medical professionals claim that “sitting is the new smoking.”

To determine where the concentration of seated workers is highest, HireAHelper researchers used data from O*NET’s Occupation Level Occupancy Score and Employment and Wage Statistics at work from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here are the cities with the highest concentration of workers who sit.

15. Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA

Adonis Villanueva / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 49.62
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 5.2%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 12.5%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 51,220
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 122,450

14. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ

John Wollwerth / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 49.62
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 6.8%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 12.1%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 143,740
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 255,610

13. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

The streets of Los Angeles, where the median rent is relatively low
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 49.77
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 5.9%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 11.4%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 337,840
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 651 310

12. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Townson Maryland
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 49.81
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 5.9%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 11.7%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 73,510
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 146,520

11. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
Roger Siljander / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 50.23
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 6.1%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 11.5%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 111,310
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 209 130

10. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Denver, Colorado
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 50.32
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 6.5%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 12.1%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 95 220
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 177,500

9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Downtown Seattle
Mark Payne / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 50.64
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 6.3%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 12.1%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 120,020
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 232,540

8. Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT

Hartford, Connecticut
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 51.03
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 6.5%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 10.0%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 35 130
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 54,370

7. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, UT
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 51.34
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 6.6%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 11.7%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 49,410
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 86,700

6. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX

Traffic in Austin, Texas
Philip Lange / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 51.52
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 6.7%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 12.4%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 71,840
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 132,560

5. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

Newark, New Jersey
EQRoy / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 51.67
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 6.6%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 10.5%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 569,830
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 915 440

4. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

Boston
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 51.93
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 6.1%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 10.8%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 156,970
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 278,950

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA

San Francisco
Pius Lee / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 52.28
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 7.2%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 10.6%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 160 430
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 236,880

2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Arlington, Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 53.80
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 6.4%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 11.0%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 186,320
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 321 290

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

The San Jose skyline, which has a median rent lower than the median mortgage payment
stellamc / Shutterstock.com
  • Compound index: 54.02
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 7.5%
  • Proportion of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 9.2%
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting: 79,810
  • Total number of workers in jobs requiring continuous standing: 98,760

Methodology

A young woman is studying a laptop screen and holding a pen in an office
Viktoriia Hnatiuk / Shutterstock.com

Data used in this analysis comes from the O*NET Occupation-Level Sitting Score and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics. To determine the locations with the highest concentration of seated workers, the researchers calculated a composite index, which is an employment-weighted average of each occupation’s O*NET Sitting Score for each location. In the event of a tie, the location with the largest share of workers in jobs requiring continuous sitting — those with an O*NET score of 90 or higher — was ranked higher. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants were included.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our stories.

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