Diseases & Conditions
Health & Safety
Research & Statistics
Information March 2001
Ten Reasons to Support Physical Activity at the Workplace
- Scientists have proven that physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, falls and injuries, obesity, high blood pressure, adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, depression, colon cancer and premature death.
- The health and quality of life of over 60 per cent of Canadians is threatened due to physical inactivity.
- Accumulating 30 - 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week will result in significant health benefits (Canada's Physical Activity Guide). This is within the reach of most Canadian workers.
- As much as one half of the decline in physical function between the ages of 30 and 70 can be attributed not to aging itself, but rather to a sedentary lifestyle.
- Research consistently shows that more than one-third of Canadians recognize the need for lifestyle changes and cite the need to increase their physical activity. At the same time, they say the biggest barrier to increasing their level of physical activity is time.
- More than 15 million Canadians spend half their waking hours at work.
- The Conference Board of Canada estimates that a 1 per cent increase in physical activity could save $10.2 million for heart disease, $877,000 for adult-onset diabetes, and $407,000 for colon cancer each year (in constant 1993 dollars).
- Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for fitness, recreation and sport have set a target to decrease physical inactivity in Canada by 10 per cent between 1998 and 2003. If we achieve this target, it is estimated that this would result in a savings of $5 billion in discounted lifetime costs for medical care, sick leave, and lost revenues from taxes resulting from premature mortality.
- Studies increasingly show that physical activity is as essential to good health as a balanced diet and avoiding tobacco products.
- Medical experts say that nothing holds as much promise for sustained health as a lifetime program of regular physical activity.