A lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Workplaces have a role to play in increasing physical activity, reducing sedentary behavior, and engaging groups of people who are unlikely to be physically active outside of work. By creating a climate that encourages physical activity, workplaces can improve employee fitness, bone health and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
Resources to Help Promote Physical Activity in Your Municipality
ParticipACTION has created five ways that physical activity can help your employees be healthier, happier and more productive during the workday. It’s time to retire the archaic notion of employees working head-down all day, without leaving their desks. We know too much about “the sitting disease” and the many risks (both physical and psychological) associated with sedentary behaviour.
- Got a meeting? Take a walk: Nilofer Merchant suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on employees life and health: Next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a "walking meeting" -- and let ideas flow while you walk and talk.
Should you mostly sit or stand at work?: If you’re confused by seemingly duelling headlines about the negative health effects of prolonged sitting and prolonged standing, this video offers clarity.
- The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has created a document that explains the ergonomics of a sit/stand desk. A sit/stand desk is one that allows the user to alternate between sitting and standing by being able to lower or raise the work (desk) platform.
The Institute for Work & Health is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote, protect and improve the safety and health of working people. Employees can now access a new online ergonomics training program to learn about the importance of ergonomics and how to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
- App: Stand up! The Work Break Timer: Activity and break apps to help you move at work.
- UpNGo ParticipACTION has created an inspirational program to help workplaces add physical activity to the workday.
- How to make fit breaks part of your office culture: Promote “fit breaks” (short bouts of light physical activity throughout the day) in your workplace.
Develop and implement a comprehensive workplace physical activity policy using the sample policy tool below:
Active Living Alberta Sample Policy: The purpose of this policy is to increase opportunities for physical activity through the workplace and to create a supportive organizational environment that encourages employees to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine.