When it comes to being active, Canadians are far from meeting the standards.
In fact, “85 per cent of Canadians are inactive and don’t meet the physical activity guidelines,” says Marc Mitchell from Western University’s School of Kinesiology.
Mitchell says the lack of physical activity is leading to a rise in chronic health conditions.
“It increases the risk of all kinds of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, mood and anxiety disorders like depression.”
In a push to get more people moving, Mitchell studied the Carrot Rewards app, which is a physical activity application with incentives, to see if it would help decrease sedentary behaviour.
In order to get the results the team studied 36,000 users of the app and tracked their physical activity over the course of the year.
“We lifted about 100,000 Canadians out of that high-risk, physical inactivity category,” says Mitchell.
In fact, the people who used the app more walked 1,200 to 1,800 steps more.
Mitchell hopes the study will help encourage people to use their smart phones not just for sitting, but for moving, being active and making healthy lifestyle choices.