Seattle is a land of nature lovers, hub for desk jobs

Only Washington, D.C., has a higher concentration of workers who sit for five or more hours a day. “It’s a lot of sitting,” a software developer says.

What do you love most about living in Seattle?

Ask a few locals and — whether native-born or newcomer — chances are you’ll get an answer similar to Mathew Luebbert’s:

“I think it’s how close we are to such a variety of stuff. The hiking and climbing is a big part of that, but we also have a lot of water close by where you can go kayaking or rowing.”

Luebbert, a software-development manager at Tableau, says that he and wife Colleen Salmi, also a developer, rarely have a weekend that doesn’t include loading up the 4Runner and getting out into nature.

But when it comes to physical exertion, his weekday life is at the opposite extreme.

“It’s a lot of sitting,” he said.

And in that regard, he’s hardly alone.

Seattle, long one of the nation’s capitals of outdoor activity, has more recently become one of its capitals of seated activity.

About 38 percent of Seattleites have a job that typically entails more than five hours of sitting a workday, according to my analysis of new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number has increased by 10 percentage points since 2000.

Among the 50 biggest U.S. cities, we rank second behind only Washington, D.C., for the share of workers in these types of jobs.

If you’re picturing some young, glassy-eyed programmer hunched over a laptop — well, you’re not wrong.

But that’s just part of the story.

The trend toward sedentary jobs is more broadly symptomatic of Seattle’s evolution from a more working-class town into an enclave of white-collar professionals.

For sure, tech jobs are leading the way. The number of Seattleites who work in computer and mathematical occupations has more than doubled since 2000. They now make up about 9 percent of the workforce, a higher percentage than you’ll…

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