Why Be Active?
Physical activity is an important part of your life! It is an important factor in the prevention and treatment of leading non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as:
- heart disease,
- and breast and colon cancer.
Being active can provide you with other benefits including:
- relieve stress and tension,
- refresh the mind and give you more energy,
- act as a great social activity with friends and family.
Being active helps contribute to a healthy mind, a healthy body and overall well-being. For older adults (65+) regular moderate to vigorous physical activity is also a key factor in the prevention of serious injuries from falls. Being active can lead to better balance, motor function, muscle strength, mobility and also reduces the risk of many potential chronic diseases that can develop as we get older (Morgan et al., 2016).
Are Canadians Active?
Results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey from 2018 and 2019 show that approximately 49% of Canadian adults aged 18 to 79 are meeting the new recommended target of accumulating at least 150 minutes per week of MVPA (49%) compared to 22% when using the old physical activity guidelines (Prince et. al, 2022, Statistics Canada, 2021). So we need to get up and move more! Although the new guidelines are showing an increase in the number of adults being active, sedentary behaviour has not improved as well. According to the Paticipaction report card on adults and their physical activity in 2021 found that 12% of adults ages 18 to 79 achieved the less then 8 hrs of sedentary time/day required with the new movement guidelines. The report also found that Adults are sedentary for 9.6 hours per day, excluding sleep time and spend 25 hours/week on screens. The rates of sedentary time/day increased by age and females also indicated higher levels of sedentary type behaviours versus males Participaction, 2022).
2021 PartcipACTION Report Card on physical activity for adults . Learn how adults (18+) are doing when it comes to being active in Canada.
Sedentary Behaviour and Screen Time
Along with being inactive, sedentary behaviours (excessive sitting or lying down during the waking hours) has become a major concern for many Canadians and has been linked to an increase in our risk for chronic disease (refer to the 2021 ParicipACTION report card). These sedentary behaviours are usually tied to us spending too much time on electronic screens for recreational reasons (e.g., television, videos, video games, non-work related computer/tablet/smart phone). In our region alone, it was reported that approximately 1/3 of us spend 25 or more hours per week on recreational screen time. Moreover, this was highest among older adults (65+). (Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, 2018)
It’s Easy to get Active!
The good news is its never too late for us to get up and start moving. Did you know that you can get health benefits by being active in bouts of 10 minutes or more? In fact, any bouts of physical activity can be beneficial according to the American Physical Activity Standards. The Canadian 24 Movement Guidelines recommend that adults accumulate at least 150 minutes per week of cardiovascular activity (e.g., walking, biking, swimming, running). The important thing is to reduce your screen time, have fun, and get active your way! Build physical activity into your daily life at home, school, work, or play.
To learn more about ways you can become active, check out the other sections on this webpage (see above) that will provide you with physical activity resources, tips, apps., and local services and programs that are available to you in the Windsor-Essex region, and local trail networks for biking and hiking.
Prince, S.A., Roberts, K.C., & Lang, J.J., Butler, G.P., & Colley, R.C. (2022) The influence of removing the 10-minute bout requirement on the demographic, behaviour and health profiles of Canadian adults who meet the physical activity recommendations. Health Reports, Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-003-X ISSN 1209-1367 DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.25318/82‑003‑x202200800001‑ 
ParticipACTION. (2021). ParticipACTION report card on physical activity for adults. Retrieved from https://www.participaction.com/the-science/2021-adult-report-card/#/?pla...
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (2018). Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Statistics