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Why Move More?

Working and learning in classrooms, labs, and offices, attending meetings, and using computers all equal less time on our feet and more time sitting, especially when working and learning from home. 

In fact, the average Canadian adult spends 50-70% of their day sitting—and all that sitting is an independent risk factor for many chronic conditions. Our current work and learn from home situation can make it even more difficult than usual to get our daily dose of movement—without daily commutes, walks between classes, or recreational classes, you might find yourself sitting more and moving less then you are used to. 

The good news is, small changes can have a big impact when it comes to reducing sedentary behaviour and increasing physical activity.  Breaking up bouts of inactivity with movement throughout the day is key to achieving and maintaining good health. You don’t need to run a marathon or do the Grouse Grind to reap the benefits of moving more (although kudos if you do!).  When it comes to moving more, it all adds up. Every step, stand, and stretch counts towards building a better foundation for a healthy lifestyle. 
UBC is working to create environments where movement is supported and celebrated for all our community members. We want to help you:
  • Move More—regularly, and throughout the day. 
  • Move Well—in ways that are comfortable, empowering and motivating to you, regardless of level of ability. 
  • Move Anywhere—whether you're working and learning from home or on campus, find opportunities to move that work for you. 
  • Keep Moving—let Move UBC be an opportunity to explore physical activity and how it fits into your life year-round! 

Benefits of Moving More

Being physically active can often fall to the bottom of your to-do list, and it can be especially hard to find the time and motivation to exercise during busy or stressful times. For many, working and learning from home probably means fewer opportunities to be active and it is easy to fall into a routine of w

But physical activity—even in small doses—can actually help you live, work, and learn your best. 

The best way to reduce your time sitting is to commit to frequent and short movement breaks. Active breaks, impromptu dance parties, standing during a meeting, and desk exercises are all great ways to add a little bit of movement into your day!

Benefits of moving more include: 

Move More, Learn More  

Pencils? Check. Laptop? Check. Sneakers? Check.

Make movement part of your work or study routine—it can improve learning, concentration, and memory, and can also increase your creativity and productivity. 

Move More, Stress Less

Physical activity helps relieve stress

Just 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week can help boost your mood, improve self-esteem, and decrease stress, anxiety, and depression.

Learn about research happening in the Fitness, Aging and Stress Lab.

Move Well, Sleep Well

Work up a sweat for better rest

Exercise can help you sleep soundly and wake up refreshed. Regulated sleep patterns and better rest are also linked with fostering and maintaining mental health. 

Move Well, Heal Well

Let movement be like medicine

Regular, moderate exercise helps fight many chronic diseases, and boosts your immune system, helping you heal better. Physical activity is also linked to reduced incidence of illness and sick days needed.

Active Body, Healthy Mind

Support your mental health by moving more!

Even a small daily dose of physical activity can help you thrive. It can also lead to increased engagement and social activities, which also contribute to building mental health. 

Learn more about Mind in Motion, an exercise intervention for students seeking mental health care on campus. 




How Much do we Need to Move?

Physical activity looks different for everyone—how much, how hard, and how often is a very individual choice that is dependent on many different factors. Take it step-by-step and move in ways that feel good to you.  

For a health 24-hours, the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guideline recommends: 

  • Performing a variety of types and intensities of physical activity
  • 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activities per week (that's just 20 minutes per day)
  • Muscle strengthening activities using major muscle groups at least twice a week
  • Several hours of light physical activities, including standing
  • Limiting sedentary time to 8 hours or less, which includes no more than 3 hours of recreational screen time
  • Breaking up long periods of sitting as often as possible
  • Getting 7 to 9 hours of good-quality sleep on a regular basis, with consistent bed and wake-up times

Working and learning from home during COVID-19 has probably disrupted your regular activity routines. Make your move by trying some simple ways to to make each day active


We all have a hand in shaping campus environments that support health, wellbeing, and sustainability. By championing wellbeing, we can build stronger and more inclusive communities at UBC and beyond.