Physical Activity

Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.1 In 2017, 39% of Albertans working full-time or part-time did not get enough physical activity to achieve health benefits and one-third of adults were sedentary for 10 hours or more per day.2


Workplaces have a role to play. Albertans have the longest average workweek compared to all other provinces3. Nearly 30% of Alberta workers work more than 41 hours per week4, leaving less time for physical activity. Almost 40% of Alberta workers identified their work schedule as a barrier to improve their physical health.5

Workplaces can be a valuable site for increasing physical activity, reducing sedentary behavior, and engaging groups of people who are unlikely to be physically active outside of work.6 Effective physical activity policy and programs can contribute to job satisfaction, increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.7 By creating a climate that encourages physical activity, workplaces can improve employee fitness, bone health and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.1

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Physical activity. Geneva (SW): WHO; 2017. Available from:
  2. Alberta Centre for Active Living (ACAL). 2017 Alberta survey on physical activity. Edmonton (AB): ACAL; 2017. Available from:
  3. Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0043-01 Average usual and actual hours worked in a reference week by type of work (full- and part- time), annual. Ottawa (ON): Statistics Canada; n.d. Available from:
  4. Statistics Canada. Canadian Community Health Survey 2011-12, Public-Use. Ottawa (ON): Statistics Canada; 2012. Accessed on August 16, 2018.
  5. Alberta Culture and Tourism. 2017 Alberta recreation survey report. Government of Alberta; 2017. Available from:
  6. Hutchinson AD, Wilson C. Improving nutrition and physical activity in the workplace: a meta-analysis of intervention studies. Health Promotion International. 2012;27(2):238-49
  7. World Health Organization (WHO). Workplace health promotion. Geneva (SW): WHO; n.d. Available from:

Other Tool Kits