Supporting active living at work

Supporting active living at work

Only 15 per cent of Canadian adults are getting the recommended amount of physical activity at the appropriate intensities. Considering physical activity has many health benefits, such as lowered risk of anxiety, depression, obesity, cancer and heart disease, being regularly physically active is an important thing you can do for your health and wellness.

But finding time for the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week is not easy. Family, friends, chores, errands and many other obligations can make fitting physical activity into our daily lives quite difficult.

Finding ways to fit physical activity in to your work day is the best option for people who often feel the crunch of juggling multiple responsibilities. One of the best ways to fit in some physical activity is to use active transportation to commute from home to work. Not only does commuting by car increase levels of stress, but also increases your risk of obesity. The longer your commute time, the higher the risk.

If walking or cycling to work is not an option, consider parking a few blocks further away. Walking for 10 minutes at a pace that makes you feel warm and increases your rate of breathing has positive health effects. You can also save money! Researchers have found that driving a small car 18,000 km per year costs $8,441.25, or $0.469 per kilometre.

Taking an active break is also a great way to fit in physical activity at work. You can start by taking a walk during your regular coffee or lunch break (don’t forget to invite your coworkers!). If you can squeeze it in, or your employer has onsite fitness facilities, try a short workout during your lunch break.

Working in an office can lead to very sedentary days in front of a computer. To break up the sitting, print documents at a printer down the hall. Or instead of sending an email to a colleague down in the next office, walk over to talk to them. Not only will your health thank you, but you will improve your communication skills and social connectedness at work!

If you would like more information on how to incorporate physical activity into your workday, visit

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