Government of Canada invests in program to combat sedentary behaviour in the workplace

vision for a healthy canada

Canadian office workers are encouraged to “kick the sit” and adopt a standing work environment to decrease health risks associated with sedentary behaviour

Most Canadians know that low levels of physical activity have negative effects on our health. What many may not be aware of is that spending less time sitting and more time standing, walking and engaging in light movement throughout the day can help reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses like obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and respiratory diseases.

Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, along with Paul Estey, Chief Innovation Officer of Public Inc. announced the launch of Sit Kicker. Sit Kicker is a nationwide initiative focused on encouraging Canadians who work in office settings to reduce sedentary behaviour and “kick the sit” out of their work habits by shifting workplace culture towards more stand-friendly physical work environments. The Public Health Agency of Canada is providing $1,164,360 over two years in funding to Public Inc. to implement the Sit Kicker initiative in up to 1,500 workplaces across Canada.

Sit Kicker will encourage employees to participate in a four-week challenge to interrupt sitting every half hour and stand more often. Participating workplaces will be provided with a Sit Kicker tool-kit that includes portable stand-up desks for use with laptops, tablets, phones or other office devices, a companion iPhone/Android Sit Kicker app that enables workers to track their standing time,  as well as posters, stickers and other workplace supports. The program is designed to inspire participants to transfer the knowledge, experience and less sedentary habits gained from the Sit Kicker initiative to other parts of their life.


“Research clearly shows a link between sedentary behaviour and increased risk for chronic diseases. Our government is proud to support this partnership, which encourages Canadians to change their sedentary behaviour in the workplace and making choices that lead to a healthier lifestyle and, collectively, a healthier Canada.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health Canada 

“By encouraging more stand-friendly work environments, the Sit Kicker initiative provides Canadians with options that promote healthy lifestyles and help reduce the risk of chronic disease.”

Dr. Theresa Tam
Interim Chief Public Health Officer

“Unlike years past, when cigarettes were the clear enemy of workplace health, the humble office chair has become the new workplace villain. Sit Kicker is helping fight Canadians’ sitting problem and empowering employees to take a stand for their health.”

Paul Estey, Chief Innovation Officer
Public Inc.

It is encouraging to see the Public Health Agency of Canada taking a proactive role in creating more movement friendly work cultures for a healthier Canada. We all must take action to reduce sedentary lifestyles in the work environment, not just the employee at the desk. The Sit Kicker program is a great example of how organizations can come together to enact change and transform the traditional workspace.”

Pete Segar, CEO
Ergotron, Sit Kicker Supporter 

Quick Facts

  • Four out of five Canadians risk developing chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease or type 2 diabetes; six out of ten adults are overweight.
  • Canadian adults spend about 70% of their waking hours being sedentary; Canadian office workers spend 77-80% of working hours in prolonged sitting periods.
  • Sit Kicker was funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Multi-Sectoral Partnership Approach to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease. This funding program has invested $49 million and leveraged an additional $43 million from partners to support initiatives that promote healthy eating, physical activity and wellness, and address the common risk factors that underlie major chronic diseases.
  • The Sit Kicker partnership supports the Government’s vision for a healthy Canada, a holistic and pragmatic approach to health that focuses on healthy eating, healthy living and a healthy mind.

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