THE LAST SNOWDROPS of the season

Beware the chair – it’s not your friend

Get up, get moving, get active. And leave the chair at home.

Remember ParticipACTION? It used to be advertised all over the place back in the 80s and 90s. Communities would challenge each other to get the public involved and they had buttons and banners and t-shirts to promote it. It was catchy.

Guess what? It’s still around!

In a much lower key program, they sent out a press release over the weekend for their third annual Sneak It In Weekend, which runs from Apr. 7-11.

It’s a sign of the times that their tips for being active now include things like standing up while on the phone, “power shopping” and grabbing a coffee or lunch a few extra blocks away.

Canadian adults spend at least nine and a half hours per day – almost 70 per cent of their waking hours – being sedentary. Much of this time is spent sitting at work, or in cars commuting to and from work. Excessive time spent sitting increases the risk of diabetes and heart attack, and causes high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, sore backs and foggy brains.

It’s time, they say, to Beware the Chair! The campaign calls on Canadians to “stand up for their health” and take active breaks, and “sneak in” 10-minute increments of physical activity throughout their workdays.

I recall the last ParticipACTION challenge I was involved in – many years ago in Hudson’s Hope. It was organized by the town’s Recreation Director, Martin Dalsin, and encouraged by Mayor Lenore Harwood, who drove around town and wrote down the names of everyone she saw walking or biking or working in their garden or cutting the grass. We had one of the highest participation rates in BC!

The folks at ParticipACTION say that 10-minute bouts of physical activity not only break up sedentary time, but are an effective way to increase fitness and meet the recommended 150 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity recommended for adults per week. I’m not totally convinced of that, but any activity is better than none.

They recommend regular breaks in order to get out of the chair and stretch, drinking extra water so you have to take frequent breaks to the restroom (!), starting a lunchtime walking group, and walking to the restaurant for lunch or coffee – which many of us do already. Really, what’s the point of driving half a block to the restaurant and then looking for a parking spot?

It’s great to have things for the kids to do, but it’s good to see more adult exercise activities being offered recently. Adults need more motivation than kids do to get moving, and we have more reason to sit.

It’s finally Spring – get out of that chair!

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

100 Mile woman arrested after dramatic incident in Ashcroft

Diane Carol Priester allegedly rammed police cruiser in attempt to evade capture

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

TNRD purchases property for new Ashcroft/Cache Creek Eco-Depot

New facility will be built at former chip reload plant site off Highway 1

Ashcroft council supports curling club and rink in 2020 budget

Budget includes funds to do necessary equipment upgrades at curling rink

Grant allows Ashcroft seniors to benefit from music and memories

New program will help seniors at Thompson View, Jackson House, and beyond with the gift of music

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Most Read