Physical activity vs. exercise

  • Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement that requires energy. This includes things such as housework, shopping and gardening.
  • Exercise is a type of physical activity that is structured, planned and completed for the purpose of improving or maintaining fitness.
  • It is recommended that adults achieve 150-300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise each week.
  • A healthy lifestyle includes both physical activity and exercise.

Sedentary behaviour and “sitting disease”

  • It is recommended that you walk a minimum of 250 steps per waking hour and accumulate at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week to avoid the negative effects of “Sitting Disease”.
  • “Sitting disease” is a term, not a diagnosable condition used to emphasize the significant health risks associated with sedentary behaviour. While some sedentary behaviour throughout the day is normal, too much can lead to several health concerns.
  • Sedentary behaviour is any waking behaviour that requires minimal energy and occurs while in a sitting, reclining or lying position. Some examples of sedentary behaviour are sitting while using electronic devices, reading, eating, riding a train or bus, or driving a car.
  • Too much sedentary behaviour has been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, higher rates of obesity, muscular weakness, joint pain, some types of cancer, and even premature death.

Tips for moving more

  • Complete resistance training exercises while watching TV.
  • Sneak in some exercises while doing household chores, such as heel raises while brushing your teeth, squats while loading the dishwasher etc.
  • Use an activity tracker to set goals and count steps.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Park farther from the entrance to work or store.
  • Set a timer to remind you to get up and move every hour.
  • Put on some music and dance.
  • Plan activities to do as a family.
  • Try marching on the spot or marching while sitting
  • Stand or walk while talking on the phone

Want more information?

  • Speak to an Exercise Therapist.