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Albertans still fall short on physical activity: survey

Morris Gamblin/ Global News

Only 57 per cent of Albertans are getting enough physical activity, while one-third sit for 10 hours or more a day, according to an annual survey by the Alberta Centre for Active Living.

The centre defines active living as a way of life that incorporates 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week.

“More work is needed to support Albertans to be more physically active and less sedentary in our workplace, home and in the community,” Nora Johnston, the centre’s director, said in a release.

READ MORE: Canadian kids among least active in the world: ParticipAction study

The centre says an inactive and sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, colon cancers, breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, depression and anxiety.

The survey did find physical activity trackers have gained a strong foothold in the province.

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Thirty-eight per cent of Albertans surveyed own one of these trackers, which includes items like Fitbits, Apple and Garmin watches and other phone apps, although the survey also found only 21 per cent of Albertans are currently using their trackers.

“Physical activity trackers have gained popularity and can motivate individuals to be more active and less sedentary throughout the day,” Johnston said.

“Understanding factors related to their use may support development and implementation of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour interventions using these devices to support Albertans in being physically active and less sedentary,” added Dr. Soultana Macridis, the research and knowledge translation specialist with the Alberta Centre for Active Living, and a co-author of the report.

READ MORE: How inaccurate is your fitness tracker in counting calories? Scientists weigh in

The 2017 survey also found Albertans sit for an average of nine hours a day during the week, and 8.5 hours per day on the weekend. This includes time at work, the commute, eating meals and screen time, like watching television.