Contributed by Sherry Lynch, Self-Management BC. Sherry and her team have made a group pledge to increase their daily physical activity and improve their health! Read below to learn why.

Most of us spend the majority of the day sitting at our computers, even though we are aware of the negative effects of sedentary behaviour. A large recent review with data from over one million participants found that 60 to 75 minutes of physical activity per day eliminated the harms of sitting when it came to measuring death from cardiovascular disease or death by all causes. This is why it is important to find a way to get everyone involved in physical activity during the day. Our 20 employees acknowledged the need to “walk the talk” around daily physical activity, and designed an exciting and rigorous challenge last year to get us all moving.

The strategy we selected was to walk around our two-level office three times at 10:30 a.m. and again at 2:30 p.m. This challenge was enthusiastically embraced last year but participation has diminished over time. Change Day 2017 was the ideal opportunity to breathe new life into this challenge! The group pledge is to walk 171,117 steps between now and Change Day (17-11-17). Progress towards this goal is displayed on a public whiteboard which serves as a stimulus for activity. We’ve already noticed staff making changes to achieve this goal, such as getting up from their desks to speak to colleagues instead of phoning or emailing.

We encourage other British Columbians to join our pledge to get up from sitting and take a walk!