Sedentary lifestyle – stand up

Routinely sitting for prolonged periods is a health risk factor and can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, psychological disorders and mortality among adults.  

Among children, prolonged sitting increases the risk of obesity, metabolic diseases and even reduced bone density as well as having negative impacts on mental, motor and psychosocial skills. Prolonged sitting can cause circulatory problems among the elderly, leading to more frequent falls, reduced mobility, inadequate joint lubrication and muscle loss.  

Stand up Logo

Regular bouts of standing bring direct health benefits. People who exercise not only build muscle, but also strengthen their bones, joints, organs and immune systems. In addition, they see improvements in their memory, learning ability and quality of sleep.

Small effort, big benefit

Studies shows that regular bouts of standing have a positive impact on health and ideally complement leisure activities. That’s why it’s important to regularly break up long periods spent sitting, both at work and in your own time. Standing is easy, makes a big difference to your health and can be done almost anywhere:

  • At work, university or school: take regular breaks from sitting to move around or stand up, make telephone calls while standing, have conversations while standing or walking.
  • During leisure time: take active breaks from the screen and have frequent time-outs from media consumption. Occasionally read your post, newspaper or text messages while standing and stand in the tram or bus.
  • On an everyday basis: be active when on the move: walk or cycle to work or to the shops, get off the tram or bus a couple of stops early.
    Physical activity in everyday life

You can find further information and ideas on daily exercise under “Documents”.

We sit for up to 15 hours a day. Various pictograms show people standing up instead of sitting down: on the way to work, at work, in meetings, when travelling, in their free time, at home and when resting.

The Swiss population spend an average of 5.5 hours a day sitting. Employed persons spend more time sitting at 5.8 hours than those not in gainful employment (4.9 hours). Over 18.6 percent of the Swiss population spend even more than 8.5 hours per day sitting, with some sitting or at rest for up to 15 hours per day.


The poster shows a person running up the stairs and an escalator in the background.

Every physical activity counts: Success in just a few steps.

Poster to download (PDF, 709 kB, 09.11.2016)

Template sheets on standing for presentations (in German)

Aufstehen – Haltungen wechseln

Whether at digital or real events and meetings - actively ask/encourage your audience to stand up in between!

For inspiration and as a reminder, you can copy one or more slides from this presentation and insert them into your presentation.

Template sheets on standing for presentations (in German) (PDF, 1 MB, 16.04.2024)

The PowerPoint version of the template slides for presentations can be ordered by e-mail.

Poster «Stand up»

Picture shows ways to stand up in everyday life

The Poster can be be downloaded as PDF, in the formats A1, A3.

Poster «Stand up» A1 (PDF, 1019 kB, 17.06.2024)

Poster «Stand up» A3 (PDF, 1 MB, 17.06.2024)



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Last modification 16.05.2024

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Prevention of non-communicable diseases Division
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