Canadians are tired of sitting down at work: survey

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Many Canadian office workers are concerned with how much time they spend sitting down each week, according to a new survey from ParticipACTION.

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Around 63% say they’re concerned with how sedentary they are while working, and another 32% say they spend too much time in meetings.

In fact, one in five Canadian office workers say they spend at least one full day each week – that’s eight hours – in meetings. And that wouldn’t bother them so much if they could walk during the meetings or stand.

“Busy schedules get in the way of making healthy choices, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” says Elio Antunes, president and CEO of ParticipACTION in a release. “If you do something as simple as give people permission to do things differently—like prompting them to stand during a meeting, for instance—research shows they will take you up on it.  We can make sitting less and moving more accepted and expected at work.”

Reducing the amount of time the average Canadian adult spends sedentary can vastly improve their lives – it can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, and cholesterol as well as sore backs and foggy minds.

According to ParticipACTION, 10 minute daily bouts of physical activity can help Canadians reach their goal of the recommended 150 weekly minutes.

The survey comes as ParticipACTION launches Sneak It In Week, a movement to help Canadians add in daily physical activity breaks. This year, it runs from April 4 to 8.

Here are some ways you can sneak in those extra physical activity breaks:

  • Make standing or stretching allowed within meetings
  • If there’s a coffee break during a meeting, take the stairs or go for a walk
  • Sit on exercise balls or stand during the meeting
  • Schedule stretching breaks and invite someone to lead the stretch
  • Make it a walking meeting

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.

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