Getting regular physical activity - and avoiding long periods of sedentary behaviour - is essential for good physical and mental health.
Workplaces can help employees get enough activity during the day by creating policies, and encouraging physical activity through education or other activities. For example, a company could encourage employees walk or cycle to work, sponsor a stair-climbing challenge, or hold occasional walking meetings.
A workplace that supports fitting physical activity throughout the work day will help improve the health of its employees.
"Active living at work programs can benefit companies by reducing the incidence of stress-related illness and injury." - Public Health Agency of Canada
Click the tabs for steps you can take.
Create a physical activity/ active living policy that is appropriate and relevant to your workplace. This could include:
- Recognition that physical activity plays a role in maintaining good health and well-being.
- A statement that your organization values and encourages active living at work.
- Support for ideas such as active commuting by bicycle or foot, stretching at your desk, taking the stairs, activity breaks and "walking meetings."
- Ensure workers know about the policy.
Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults, and the Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines Handbook, from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
Business case for active living at work, from the Public Health Agency of Canada
Physical Activity Line - provides free physical activity counselling to British Columbians
Contact your local government to get maps for nearby walking, running or cycling routes
Register with the workplace wellness program WellnessFits to access the physical activity module.
Set aside an area for exercise and physical activity, and provide exercise equipment (such as exercise balls, yoga mats and free weights)
Sponsor or subsidize entry fees for physical activity events in the community (such as Bike to Work Week, runs, walks, hiking and team sports)
Provide bike racks, shower and change rooms to encourage active commuting and physical activity at work.
Visit WellnessFits and sign up for the self-serve program to download a sample workplace physical activity policy