by Alice Bastable, LiveLighter Victoria Campaign Manager and Dietitian

Being physically active is one of the most effective ways to improve your health, but working longer hours and increasing commutes can make fitting enough activity into the working day a struggle.

As part of Premier’s Active April LiveLighter is encouraging all Victorians to join in the fun this month by finding more ways to weave physical activity into their day.

Keen to get more active but not sure where to begin? Check out our tips on how to achieve this and you’ll see yourself moving more and feeling better in no time:

1. Become an active commuter

Active commuting is a great way to knock some exercise out of the way before you even set foot into work. Not to mention this strategic move costs far less than petrol to get to and from work! Here’s how you can become an active commuter:

Step away from the car and put one foot in front of the other!

It’s time to fall out of love with our cars and start enjoying the great outdoors. Walking to work (or even to the train station) might mean waking up a little earlier but, trust us, you’ll feel energised and ready to tackle your day.

Saddle up and cycle to work

If you’re worried about looking a little daggy have no fear, you can ride to work and still be stylish.

Use public transport

Did you know using public transport can boost your physical activity levels by around 12 to 15 minutes each day? Get off at an earlier stop to increase your walking distance even more.

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Don’t want to ditch your comfy car commute? Even parking ten or fifteen minutes away from work and walking the rest of the way will get you an extra half hour of activity for the day. Remember, any exercise is better than no exercise and it all adds up!

2. Take the stairs instead of the lift

Not only is this a simple trick that incorporates walking into your work day, but climbing stairs is a similar intensity to cycling or jogging, which use around eight times the amount of energy the body uses when resting or sleeping.

3. Take the time to plan an outdoor weekend adventure

Leaving the car at home and exploring by foot, pedal or push power can be a fun way to explore the neighbourhood with family and friends. You may even find safer off-road paths and shortcuts to your work that you would miss travelling in a car.

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Check out Parks Victoria, Victoria Walks and parkrun for maps, paths and free weekly programs in your area.

4. Walk it out

Step away from the computer at work when you can and deliver a message in person to a colleague rather than sending an email.

5. Get out and about in your work break

Walking absolutely counts as an easy and convenient way to be physically active. Try commit to eating lunch away from your work space and squeeze in a 10-minute walk while you’re at it. Better yet, find a walking buddy and combine socialising with exercise.

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6. Take it a step further and check out Healthy Workplaces for extra support at work

Want to get your workplace on board with your new active lifestyle? The Achievement Program is a state-wide program supported by the Victorian Government and delivered by Cancer Council Victoria. It provides support to early childhood services, schools and workplaces across Victoria focussing on healthy lifestyles and improving the places where we live, learn and work. For more tailored support and advice on implementing a health and wellbeing program in your workplace – get in contact here.

So there you have it! Need proof that adopting small healthy habits like these can leave a lasting positive impact on our overall health? Look no further than Latrobe Valley Bus Lines - making it easier for their workers to incorporate physical activity into their day. You can read more about the company’s story here.

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The Latrobe Valley Bus Lines staff making the most of new gym equipment

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