Almost four out of every ten people (39%) employed in the European Union in 2017 carried out their work while sitting down. This included office workers using computers, staff in call-centres and vehicle drivers, Eurostat said.
A further 30% of EU workers had jobs which mostly involve moderate physical effort, such as car repairs, nursing, plumbing and carrying light loads.
One in five workers in the EU (20%) spent most of their working time standing up, such as teachers or shop sales assistants. The remaining people employed had jobs that mostly involve heavy labour or are physically demanding, such as heavy construction work, loading and digging.
Cyprus matched the EU average with 39.7% doing their work sitting down. According to Eurostat’s figures, 14% spent most of their working day standing. For 39.5% their work involved moderate physical effort and for 8.8% heavy physical effort.
There are variations in the different Member States. For example, the majority of people employed in the Netherlands (55%), Germany (54%) and Luxembourg (52%) spent their working time mostly sitting down.
Around half of the workforce in Lithuania (50%) and Greece (46%) were in jobs that mostly involve moderate physical effort.
When it comes to occupations that mostly involve standing up, Spain (43%) and Romania (36%) had the highest shares of the EU workforce in this category.
The two EU Member States with the highest proportion of employed people in jobs that are physically-demanding were Greece (22%) and Poland (16%).