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Physical Activity at Work

October 21, 2013 by Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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Many of us spend a lot of time where we work and a healthy workplace is a more enjoyable place to be.

Employees can rack up to 10.5 hours a day working and commuting.

Including physical activity into this time is important!

It's easy to make a few changes without too much effort. Here's how to sneak in some physical activity:

  • Wear comfortable shoes which will encourage walking and standing.
  • Keep muscles limber by doing exercises throughout the day (e.g., wall push-ups, squats).
  • Start with little things: walk briskly to the photocopier, use the stairs, and schedule walking meetings.
  • Get off the bus a few stops early.
  • Park the car a little further away from work.

While you'll likely notice that you're feeling better, your employer may see big benefits too. Healthy workplace facts:

  • Workplace-wellness programs reduce both sick leave and compensation costs by 25%.
  • While the most common form of promoting workplace health is a fitness program, only 29% of worksites with 100 or more employees offer them.
  • Health benefits of physical activity occur at remarkably low volumes. Very small bouts of exercise have significant benefits.

Remember every little bit counts! Five to ten minutes here and there can add up to a half hour during the day.

The "At Work" section of HealthyFamilies BC has tools and resources to help employers and employees create workplaces that support healthy choices.  If you're wondering how your workplace health program stacks up, or if you want to know how to make improvements, try the Workplace Check – an online Q&A that provides helpful results.


References and resources:
Wellness Fits
Healthy Workplace Month
HealthyFamilies BC: Get Going on a Healthy Workplace
Healthyfamilies BC: Your Mental Health at Work

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