The times spent lying down and standing by first lactation and adult cows while they were housed and while they were at pasture were studied and related during the period of housing to the incidence of sole lesions in first lactation cows. First lactation cows lay down for a shorter time in the early housing period than later. First lactation and adult cows lay down for longer when at pasture. Maximum lying time was significantly longer and the frequency of lying lower on pasture than indoors. The times spent lying and standing and the frequency of lying were related to the incidence of sole lesions. Rumination time was not related to the occurrence of sole lesions although there were significant variations in rumination behaviour while the animals were housed and at pasture. The patterns of lying and other activities of first lactation and adult cows while they were housed were quite different from those while they were at pasture.