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Physical Activity

Physical activity in the workplace is extremely important, considering that Canadians spend more than half of their waking hours in the workplace. By becoming more physically active, you can reduce the risk of chronic disease development, such as heart disease and diabetes.

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 years should spend at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week.

Impact of physical activity on the workplace:

  • Better morale and job satisfaction
  • Less stress
  • Increased productivity
  • Decreased absenteeism
  • Decreased health benefit costs especially related to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer
  • Less workplace injuries
  • Improved recruitment and retention

How to be physically active in the workplace:

  • Walk or bicycle to and from work
  • Stretch or move around every hour and on your breaks
  • Walk or jog during your breaks
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Create a walking club at work

What can employers do?

  • Develop and implement a physical activity policy in the workplace
  • Provide educational and skill building sessions regarding physical activity (i.e. how to be physically active in the workplace, using pedometers, easy exercises and stretches etc.)
  • Supply educational resources such as pamphlets and handouts regarding physical activity
  • Increase awareness about the importance of physical activity in the workplace and during the day
  • Provide on-site bike racks to encourage bicycling to work
  • Provide showers on-site to promote physical activity during breaks or lunches
  • Create and promote physical activity challenges (such as a walking or stair challenge)
  • Allow flex time for employees who would like to participate in physical activity (i.e. during lunch and breaks)
  • Encourage stretching and movement during breaks for meetings that last more than an hour
  • Provide employees with discounts for physical activities (i.e. gym memberships)



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