Leading an active lifestyle is important for preventing chronic diseases. Regular physical activity can:
Walking is a recommended physical activity as it is free, easy and has a relatively low risk of injury. Walking can be done throughout the life course, and is a popular activity as we get older.
For more information on the health benefits of walking see the following infographic
Sedentary behaviours include activities in a seated or reclined posture that require little energy expenditure while being awake. Examples include sitting in a car, sitting at a desk at work, sitting to watch TV or use a computer (screen time). Sedentary behaviour is distinct from being physically inactive as it is possible to meet physical activity guidelines and still spend a large amount of time sitting. Currently no national guidelines exist for adult sedentary behaviour.
Excessive sedentary behaviour can have negative effects on health. A national study shows that Canadians spend, on average, up to 10 hours per day sitting. Evidence specific to Alberta shows that Albertans spend on average 9 hours on week days and 8.25 hours on weekends being sedentary. 1/3 of Albertans are sedentary for greater than 10 hours per day.
Finding ways to break up sitting time is important for maintaining good health and wellbeing. As a health professional it is important that we promote the message of moving more and sitting less: