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Sit less and move more

It's time to stand and stretch and move more!


Many of us spend too many hours during the day sitting and not moving.  This is also called ‘sedentary behaviour’. Examples include sitting to watch TV or other screens, playing video games, or sitting in the car. Being sedentary is dangerous to your health.

Did you know that even if you are getting some physical activity every day, you may still be sitting for too many hours?

It’s important to find ways to reduce the amount of time spent sitting and being sedentary throughout your day.

Talk with others about sedentary behaviour and consider sharing the tips below.


Canadians are spending a lot of their day sitting/being sedentary.
  • Children and youth spend an average of 8.4 hours being sedentary in their day.
  • Adults spend an average of 9.6 hours a day being sedentary.
  • Older adults spend an average of 10.1 hours a day being sedentary.
  • During COVID restrictions there was an increase in screentime for families. It is important to reverse these trends and re-establish healthy habits.

I exercise, do I need to worry about how much I sit?

Even someone who runs every day, or takes time to go to the gym for exercise, could still be putting their health at risk if they are sitting for long periods of time.

  • An important first step is to be more aware about being less sedentary. There are a lot of ways to remind yourself to move about during the day, such as using a screen saver or a timer.
  • Stand up, move around and stretch more often at home, or at your desk or workplace.
  • Cut down the time spent watching TV,  or do some physical activity while watching your favourite program. Get up and move during commercial breaks.
  • Take active breaks  during your work day (e.g. go for a short walk on your breaks, and/or a longer walk on lunch hours).
  • Visit co-workers in-person,  rather than sending e-mail for everything.
  • Call a "walking meeting" with co-workers; walk indoors or outside.
  • Take regular physical activity and stretch breaks during long road trips.

The more you know (and do) about being less sedentary, the more you’ll benefit. You will also set a good example for others – family members, children, work colleagues etc.

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