The week of April 4–8 is ParticipACTION’s Sneak It In Week. It’s a reminder to Canadians to find small opportunities to sneak-in a little more activity throughout the day.
It’s become increasingly common in Canadian workplaces to spend more time sitting in front of a computer, including eating lunches at our desks. The average Canadian spends 60% of the workday seated—meaning, there are a lot of little opportunities to get up over the course of the day and give our bodies a much needed break from being sedentary.1
When you are able to both increase activity and reduce sitting time (with respect to your average routine), you begin to experience benefits to your health and productivity. As an adult, you need approximately 150 minutes of activity each week that raises your heart rate, and that can be gained from adding up activities as short as 10 minutes at a time. This means that “sneaking in” little activities can have a real benefit on your overall health.1
Here are a few ideas to help you “sneak-in” a little more movement into your day2:
- Park further away. This is one of the oldest tips in the book: if you drive a car and have a large parking lot to conquer, park near the back. Not only will you find a spot faster, you get to add a couple more minutes of walking to your daily routine. Not too shabby.
- Take the stairs. You’ve probably heard of this one too, and that’s because it’s such an effective way to add a short workout. If you’re typically out of breath after a short climb, practicing a bit more (even adding 10 stairs to your routine) will be good for your body.
- Walk on your break. If you’re going to get a coffee or grab lunch, make a walk out of it. If you’d rather not spend money on takeout coffee, bring a travel mug to work so you can take your office coffee out for an afternoon stroll.
- Choose face-to-face. An easy way to sneak-in a few extra steps is to go visit your coworkers for a chat instead of emailing them. Not only does this get you moving, it makes you more social.
- Book a meeting room to stretch. You might feel silly at first, but if you can block off a meeting room for 15 minutes to stretch or get in some light yoga, you’ll feel relaxed, refreshed, and like you’re standing a foot taller by the time you get back to your desk.
- Start a lunchtime stair-climbing club with friends at work. Don’t underestimate the power of group motivation. Challenge your friends to climb with you. If this doesn’t sound appealing, find another group activity or challenge you can start with your coworkers.
- Keep inexpensive exercise equipment at work. This could be small and simple items, like exercise bands, light weights, hand grips, or a skipping rope.
- Stand while talking on the telephone. Not only will you get a bit more movement in, the standing and sitting motion can replicate squats.
- Keep extra workout clothes and shoes. These can be left in your desk drawer, your work bag, or your car so they’re accessible and ready to use when you can find spare minutes before, after, or during the workday to get in any of the above activities. After a few days of fitting in small exercises, you might even feel motivated to hit the gym.
For more inspiration, you can check out ParticipACTION’s 150 Play List of “uniquely-Canadian” physical activities in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary.3
For guidance on what activities are right for you, you can consult your family chiropractor.
- Sneak It In Week. ParticipACTION website. Available at: https://www.participaction.com/en-ca/programs/sneak-it-in-week?q=var/www/html/www.participaction.com/en-ca/programs/sneak-it-in-week. Accessed March 6, 2017.
- 25 ways to be more active during the workday. ParticipACTION website. Available at: https://www.participaction.com/sites/default/files/downloads/Participaction-Sneakitinweek-25WaysToBeMoreActive.pdf. Accessed March 6, 2017.
- ParticipACTION 150 Play List. ParticipACTION website. Available at: https://www.participaction.com/en-ca/programs/participaction-150-play-list#. Accessed March 6, 2017.