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Reduce Your Risk

At least 30 minutes of moderate activity every day will help to lower your risk for cancer.

It's also important to move your body more and sit less.
What can I do?
It’s good to follow two rules: (1) be more active and (2) spend less time being sedentary, where you move very little over a large part of your day. Here are some guidelines on both.

Be More Active

Do a mix of different activities during the week that are medium- and high intensity activities.


In general, during medium intensity activity you will be able to talk, but not sing!

During high intensity activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.



You don't have to do it all at once. Choose a variety of activities spread over the week.

If you have a job where you don't move around too much, like a desk job, you need to take special care to build physical activity into everyday life.

ADULTS (18+) Each week aim for:

  • 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of medium to high intensity aerobic physical activity. Aerobic activity makes you breathe harder and gets your heart pumping harder.
  • Any activity that you do for 10 minutes or more counts towards your weekly total.
  • Add in bone strengthening activities (like climbing stairs) at least two days a week for added benefits.

YOUTH (up to age 17 years) Each week aim for:

  • 420 minutes (7 hours) of medium to high intensity aerobic physical activity.
  • An easy way to do this is to aim for 1 hour of activity each day.
  • Add in bone strengthening activities 3 days per week for added benefits.

Move More, Sit Less

When you sit or lie down for a long period of time, this is called sedentary behaviour.

Spend more time simply moving around, not being sedentary. Even if you are physically active for 30 – 60 minutes each day, if the rest of your day is spent mostly sitting or being still, you are still at risk for health problems.

Common sedentary behaviours include:
  • sitting for long periods of time at school or work;
  • using a computer or phone;
  • driving or commuting;
  • reading;
  • watching TV.
Moving your body more includes doing everyday activities – like housework, grocery shopping or walking to work. It's also important to schedule exercise into your weekly activities. 

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology has developed guidelines for how you can reduce your sedentary behaviour and how much activity someone in your age group should get in every 24 hour period.

Being active in BC
In BC, it is easy to "go play outside" during any time of the year. Also, we have a physical activity service that we can contact for help in becoming more active. For more information, please check our Physical Activity Resources page.

Here are some no-cost ideas to help you work more physical activity into your daily life.

  • Check out a BC park in your neighbourhood, and ride your bike, jog or walk through it.
  • Join your friends on walks with their pets.
  • Take the Skytrain or bus and walk to your destination.
  • On your break at school or work, go for a walk instead of spending time on your phone or tablet.
  • Go walking around your neighbourhood with your headphones and favourite music on.
  • Keep up with regular house chores, YES, it's true... Vacuuming, mopping and other cleaning and maintenance tasks count as exercise!
When planning your night on the town, work some physical activity around your food and entertainment plans. You probably won't notice it as much because you are with your family and friends.

  • On a night out, walk around the city to find a place to eat or drink (alcohol-free ideal!).
  • Dance, dance, dance!
  • Window shop and enjoy the weather.
  • Don't forget to wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Bike around the city during the night, it will feel like you're in a different city. Make sure you’re visible, use lights and reflective clothing!
More health benefits
By being active every day, you can decrease your risk for these health conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
Regular physical activity is good for your lifelong health. Benefits include:

  • Strengthening your mental wellness by improving mood, reducing stress, and helping you sleep better
  • Helping you be a healthy weight
  • Improving flexibility, strength and balance, which can help prevent falls
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SOURCE: Reduce Your Risk ( )
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