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Sit less and move more

23 March 2020

It’s surprising how many hours a day that Canadians spend seated—shockingly 69% of our waking hours are spent sitting down and almost 10 hours each day are spent being sedentary. Given the ongoing global health crisis, more Canadians are staying home, which could have an even bigger impact on physical activity levels.

Sitting for long periods of time increases your risk for cancer. To reduce your risk, it is important to incorporate movement into your regular routine, even while you’re at home.

At the moment, you may feel you can’t do much about sitting, but here are some ways you can add more movement to your day:

  1. Add some movement into your at-home routine
    Make a habit of stretching and incorporate short breaks into your daily routine. Set an alarm on your phone to schedule hourly breaks and take time to get up and out of your seat.
  2. Go for a walk
    Do you live somewhere where you can walk outside while still practicing social distancing? If so, try going for a walk to give you a change of scenery and a chance to stretch your legs.
  3. Set personal goals
    Now that we’re all spending more time at home, making some small goals could help add more movement to your day. Why not aim to stand while you read a chapter of a book, or perform exercises while you watch TV or while your dinner is in the oven?
  4. Swap out sitting
    Switch things up by standing or pacing when you would normally be seated. Circle the room instead of sitting while watching TV or speaking on the phone. If available, consider using an adjustable standing desk or raising your laptop, which can help you to alternate between sitting and standing comfortably.
  5. Make less sitting a team priority
    Not in the office? You can still schedule walking meetings over the phone with co-workers. Or, why not go for a walk and use the time to catch up with a group of friends on the phone?

To learn more, check out CCS’s recommendations recommendations for moving more at cancer.ca/beactive.