Turn off the screens. Turn up the play!

The super power to move

Did you know that 2015 is the year to ‘Be Super’? That’s what the folks at Mattel are telling us with the launch their newest superhero Barbie line, ‘Princess Power’. Putting aside the fact that the main character’s name is ‘Super Sparkle’ and she’s dressed in head-to-toe pink, it got me thinking about the influence superheroes can have on the physical activity level of kids.   Take traditional Barbie, for instance, who spends her time having slumber parties and trying on...

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How to put the ‘work’ in yardwork

Spring weather finally arrived where I live last weekend, so I decided it was the perfect day to tackle some overdue gardening and outdoor chores. My backyard had been neglected over the fall and winter and was in need of some serious TLC. So my husband and I spent the day raking, pruning, bagging and removing an invasive vine from the fence. We finished the work as the sun was starting to set with feelings of joy and satisfaction. Later...

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Physical activity, sedentary behaviour: a lesson in chronic disease prevention

For some time now, you’ve heard that physical activity is synonymous with being healthy. The more active you are, the healthier you are. More recently, you’ve probably heard news stories telling you that your office chair is killing you, that sitting is the new smoking. The less you sit, the healthier you are. In short, sit less, move more! This has become our mantra here at ParticipACTION, and for good reason! Sitting less and moving more can reduce the risk...

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How to know if you’re doing exercise that counts

Exercise.  Movement.  Fitness.  Physical activity.  Do these all sound like different words for the same thing?  We don’t want to go all physical activity nerdy on you, but the truth is that all movement is not created equal. Adults need 150 minutes of physical activity per week, and kids aged 5-17 need 60 minutes per day.  But what does that actually look like?  Does a stroll count?  A yoga class?  How about mowing the lawn? The official way to define...

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Think on your feet with a standing desk

Just in time for Sneak It In week, the 15 staff at ParticipACTION’s national office in Toronto just got standing desks, and we’re pretty excited about them.  I keep sharing photos and stories about my new “riser” with friends and family, and I keep running into common misperceptions about what standing at work is all about. So, here is the lowdown. Being sedentary is not the same as being inactive.  In fact, physical activity and sedentary behaviour are two distinct...

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25 Ways to Sneak It In

  Fitting physical activity into the busy workday is a real challenge for many adults today. The top barriers revealed in one study include: lack of time, constant tight deadlines, and no pleasant or safe places to walk, bicycle, or be active near the workplace. Sound familiar? Just like anything in life, being more active at work requires a certain level of effort. But finding moments throughout the workday to sneak in 10-minute activity breaks is possible, if you make...

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Get in the Game: Play is for Kids of All Abilities

This post was written by Jason Dunkerley from The Active Living Alliance for Canadians With Disability. In an era where screen time trumps outdoor time, and where unstructured activity and coming home only after dark or for dinner is being replaced by supervised play dates and healthy snacks, the spontaneous play which flavoured our childhood and that of our parents is increasingly a thing of the past. Efforts to promote improvised playtime carry a sad irony of course; after all...

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What’s the best way to spend 20 active minutes?

Now that we’ve turned the clocks forward and spring’s arrival is imminent, my schedule is getting busier. I don’t think it’s just me; it feels like we’re all slowly waking up from winter’s hibernation and wanting to get things done — be it at work or at home. When I have a growing to do list lurking on the corner of my desk, setting aside an hour for yoga (plus the round-trip commute to the studio) seems indulgent. Some days...

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If only every week was Sneak It In Week!

ParticipACTION’s Sneak It In Week, a campaign that drives public awareness about the need to sit less and move more during the workday, will take place the week of April 6th! An initiative that ultimately seeks to change social norms around physical activity at work, Sneak It In Week has inspired positive change in a lot of Canadians. In a survey of past Sneak It In Week participants, nearly everyone reported that the initiative was easy for their organization to...

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5 social norms to change at work!

  Social norms can be described as the accepted standards of behaviour in a particular group.  In Canadian culture, there are definitely unwritten rules about what you can and can’t do—especially at the office.  Sometimes, they’re so subtle and entrenched that we don’t even “notice” them anymore. Have you ever thought about the fact that what’s considered appropriate might also be keeping you from living a healthier life?  Especially as we lead up to ParticipACTION’s annual Sneak It In Week...

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