For a nation facing a looming health and physical activity crisis, how do we foster, reward and celebrate more active workplace cultures? Just GET UP n’ GO…
You would be hard pressed to find a Canadian that doesn’t know they ought to be more active.
Yet only 20 percent of Canadians are exceeding the minimum guidelines for physical activity. And while dozens of organizations and government agencies have spent billions of dollars for decades to cajole and admonish Canadians into moving more, the trend is decidedly in reverse.
At the same time, Canadian workplaces have become increasingly sedentary environments, where both the corporate culture and our physical environments are geared toward sitting for long stretches, and most of every day. The average Canadian now spends more than 65 percent of their workday sitting.
Clearly what’s not needed is more talking about the problem. It’s time to do something about it.
Inspired by Dr. Mike Evans’ YouTube sensation 23.5 Hours, our increased understanding of key behavioural change drivers, and the rise in popularity of mobile tracking devices, we saw an opportunity to move well beyond awareness of the problem to actually engage and reward Canadians for making real, measurable and sustained change in their physical activity.
Enter UPnGO with ParticipACTION.
In partnership with ParticipACTION, Canada’s premier voice for physical activity, we built an evidence-based program that applies the latest thinking in behavioural economics with tracking technology, rewards and incentives, and in situ nudges to drive both individual behaviour change and create more active workplace cultures.
UPnGO with ParticipACTION launched at five workplaces in spring 2016 in British Columbia. It’s early still, but the results are encouraging, with many participants showing marked increases in their physical activity over just six weeks, and employees remarking on the positive cultural change it has created in their workplaces.
With ongoing start-up funding from the British Columbia Ministry of Health, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and AstraZeneca, UPnGO with ParticipACTION will expand to other markets and workplaces across Canada in 2017.