Half of British Columbians worry they spend too much time sitting at work

UPnGO with ParticipACTION will help BC employers create a more active workplace culture

VANCOUVER, April 4, 2016 /CNW/ – For British Columbians trying to fit more physical activity into their work days, UPnGO with ParticipACTION might just be the answer. Launched today by Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, Terry Lake, Minister of Health for British Columbia, and Elio Antunes, President and CEO of ParticipACTION, this innovative new workplace wellness program nudges and rewards Canadians for sitting less and moving more at work.

Workplace physical activity initiatives have been proven to increase productivity and job performance, boost creativity, reduce turnover and improve employee satisfaction and loyalty. However, according to a new survey from ParticipACTION, 48 percent of British Columbians worry they spend too much time sitting at work, with 46 percent saying they spend too much time sitting in meetings. These sedentary lifestyles contribute to obesity and can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

UPnGO with ParticipACTION seeks to create healthier workplaces by supporting employees at all levels in making physical activity both accepted and expected in the workplace. Through an innovative digital platform and app, the program provides employees with weekly challenges and personalized goals based on their self-described level of activity and sitting time. UPnGO then rewards users’ achievements with points that can be redeemed in the online store for healthy products such as a Pilates kit, gift certificates to Mountain Equipment Co-op or donations to specific charities.

UPnGO is being piloted in five BC workplaces, including TELUS, the City of Richmond, the University of British Columbia, Providence Healthcare and AutoTRADER, and will roll out in other provinces in the fall of 2016. The program is delivered in partnership by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the BC Ministry of Health, Public Inc, ParticipACTION, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and AstraZeneca and was inspired by Dr. Mike Evans’ internet video, 23 and ½ hours.

The launch of UPnGO comes just in time for ParticipACTION’s Sneak It In Week, an annual campaign that runs from April 4-8 and encourages Canadians to ‘sneak’ some physical activity into their work day. For more information, or to inquire about introducing UPnGO with ParticipACTION to your workplace, please visit www.upngo.ca.

Quick Facts

  • For many Canadians, work involves sitting down in front of a computer for hours at a time, with only 20% of us getting enough daily exercise. 62% of Canadian adults are overweight with the average Canadian adult spending 9.8 hours a day being sedentary.
  • According to a recent survey, British Columbians are interested in changing their ways at work by standing (38%), stretching (51%) or walking outside during meetings (53%).
  • UPnGO with ParticipACTION will be implemented in additional provinces across Canada in the coming months to help more Canadians break the pattern of sedentary lifestyles in the workplace.
  • This is one of many partnerships made under the Government of Canada’s Multi-Sectoral Partnership Approach to Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, which invests $20 million per year in projects that focus on addressing common risk factors, such as unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, and smoking, to prevent chronic disease.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing $2.5 million over a three year period toward this initiative. With other partner funding this represents a total investment of $7.5 million.
  • Partner funding includes support through B.C.’s Provincial Health Services Authority—$3.8 million will be allocated over three years to support UPnGO.


“Canadians know that being active is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle – yet so many of us struggle to the find time to exercise. This is why I am excited about the creative and sustainable strategies UPnGO with ParticipACTION offers Canadians to incorporate physical activity into their everyday work lives. Through innovative partnerships like this one, we’re delivering projects across the country that create environments where the healthier choice is the easier choice.”
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

“B.C. has always enjoyed the benefits of a very active population, but we know that by encouraging work place wellness, there is even more opportunity to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Through our partnerships with ParticipACTION and the Public Health Agency of Canada, we’re introducing strong programs like UPnGO that support British Columbians in getting up from their desks and moving.”
The Honourable Terry Lake
Health Minister, British Columbia

“UPnGO draws on the established credibility of ParticipACTION as the go-to source for all things physical activity since 1971, and offers employees fitness tracking, personal goal-setting, team challenges and rewards, all delivered through a mobile and web platform. Together with our partners, we are making sitting less and moving more expected and accepted in Canadian workplaces.”
Elio Antunes
President and CEO, ParticipACTION

“We’re excited to support and partner to help bring this unique and important program to life in Canadian workplaces – It’s aligned with our commitment to leadership in helping to improve the health and quality of life for Canadians with chronic disease.”
Lisa Marsden
Vice President, Patient Access & Established Brands
Astra Zeneca Canada

“Many of us spend most of our day at work and get caught up in the day to day activities forgetting to look after ourselves. UPnGO can change that by incorporating physical activity into the workplace. Staff can be more active and lead a healthy lifestyle resulting in a positive work environment. This program is the first of its kind in Canada and the Ontario Trillium Foundation is proud to collaborate on this forward-thinking initiative.”
Andrea Cohen Barrack
CEO, Ontario Trillium Foundation

Associated Links
Public Health Agency of Canada
British Columbia Ministry of Health


SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

Source: Half of British Columbians worry they spend too much time sitting at work

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s