When was the last time you took 60 minutes to get active?

If it was today, well done. If it was last week, there’s work to be done. If you can’t remember… then take this as a wake-up call!

A world-first study released by the University of Sydney last month revealed the true cost of physical inactivity.

In 2013, the total cost burden of physical inactivity on the Australian economy was $805 million, including $640 million in direct costs and $165 million in productivity losses.

Lifestyle diseases and premature death related to physical inactivity not only harm our economy, they harm individuals, their friends and family.

A sedentary lifestyle can result in chronic diseases, including some cancers, and also reduce our productivity and leave us feeling sluggish.

It is time to shape up, slim down and get moving for a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift explains how.

1. Stand up for your health

One in three Queensland adults spend their weekdays being sedentary. It’s important to schedule in time to be active. At work, implement simple strategies to break up prolonged periods of sitting by taking micro walks or have standing meetings. After work, go for a walk or run, or take part in a fitness class. We recommend adults aim for 60 minutes of moderate intensity activity every day and children aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity.

2. Friends who sweat together, stay together

When it comes to getting active, research shows having a friend or partner exercise with you can keep you motivated and accountable. Find someone you can trust and team up for a healthier future. Support from a peer can offer positive reinforcement and push you to achieve your goals. Whether you walk together, run together, lift weights together or do yoga together, every bit counts.

3. Switch it up

For healthy exercise routines, it’s important to diversify your workouts. Include aerobic exercises such as running and cycling to increase your heart rate, anaerobic exercises such as weight training for muscle strengthening, and exercises that increase your flexibility. Get creative and plan your workout schedule in advance to keep it varied and exciting. This will challenge you and keep you feeling energised each week.

The price of physical inactivity is far weightier than you might realise and can severely affect your health in the short- and long-term. Make a pledge this week to take small steps towards a healthier, happier future.

For more information about Cancer Council Queensland and for tips on getting active, visit cancerqld.org.au.

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