What Are Sedentary Work Duties?


Sedentary work duties are those that involve workers carrying items 10 pounds or less and limiting their standing or walking time to less than two hours in an eight-hour workday. Jobs that feature sedentary work often require a lot of sitting, but duties may still be classified as sedentary even if they require people to alternate between sitting and standing.


  • A receptionist is a very good example of a job that's sedentary. Receptionists spend their time at a business' front desk, greeting incoming visitors and answering calls in an administrative and support role. Much of the day is spent sitting, but a receptionist also has to stand at times to sort mail or arrange appointments. A receptionist's common duties include handling visitor inquiries about the company and pointing visitors to the appropriate contacts. As technology has expanded in the workplace, a receptionist's expanded duties may also include preparing spreadsheets and data entry.


  • Dispatcher jobs are sedentary, as their main duty is to take incoming emergency calls from the public that demand fire, police, medical and other kinds of emergency services. In addition, dispatchers are also expected to send out emergency units and maintain contact with them, as well as enter, retrieve and update any information about calls. This job is mainly spent behind a desk.

Mail Sorters

  • Mail sorters prepare outgoing and incoming mail for distribution. They spend their time primarily sitting, so they can examine and route the mail by type or state. Some sedentary work duties at this job include looking through directories to locate the right address for any mail that has been rerouted, and checking items to make sure addresses are proper and legible. Mail sorters need to work with their co-workers in an environment that's both friendly but non-competitive, according to O Net Online.

Surveillance System Monitors

  • Surveillance system monitors spend most of their time sitting, monitoring screens for any signs of disturbances or crimes at commercial and residential locations. A surveillance system monitor will look at public transportation terminals and closed circuit TV monitors. If there is a need to notify the authorities for corrective action, he'll pick up a phone to report any suspicious activities.

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