Background Evidence suggests that poor health outcomes and poor work-related health outcomes such as sickness presenteeism are associated with excessive sitting at work. Studies have yet to investigate the relationship between work engagement and occupational sitting. Work engagement is considered to be an important predictor of work-related well-being. We investigated the relationship between and self-reported work engagement and high occupational sitting time in Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) office-based workers. Method A cohort of 4436 NICS office-workers (1945 men and 2491 women) completed a questionnaire measuring work engagement and occupational sitting time. Logistic regression analyses were used to test the associations between work engagement and occupational sitting times. Results Compared to women, men reported lower mean occupational sitting time (385.7 minutes/day; s.d. = 1.9; versus 362.4 minutes/day; s.d. =2.5; p < .0001). After adjusting for confounding variables, men with high work engagement of vigor (OR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.34-0.98) and dedication (OR 0.68 95% CI 0.47-0.98) were less likely to have prolonged sitting time. Women with high work engagement of vigor (OR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.45-0.84) were also less likely to have prolonged occupational sitting times. In contrast, women with high absorption (OR = 1.29, 95% CI 1.01-1.65) were more likely to have prolonged sitting times. Conclusions Being actively engaged in one’s work is associated with lower occupational sitting times for men (vigor and dedication) and to a limited extent for women (vigor only). This suggests that interventions such as introducing sit-stand workstations to reduce sitting times, may be beneficial for work engagement.