Physical activity or fitness in its various forms is a fundamental component of health. The benefits of regular physical activity are many, whereas a sedentary lifestyle can place an individual at greater risk for developing a variety of health concerns.

What Counts as Activity?

Anything that moves you! It is suggested that 10,000 steps a day will assist you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, while 12,000—15,000 will assist your body's ability to burn calories. Don't be discouraged if your daily steps are nowhere close to 10,000 — the idea is to gradually increase your steps over time until you reach a target that you are comfortable with.

It is recommended that you consult with a medical professional prior to beginning any fitness program.

Benefits of Being Active

  • Better overall health.
  • Improved fitness.
  • Improved mental clarity.
  • Improved posture and balance.
  • Improved self-esteem.
  • Weight control.
  • Stronger muscles and bones.
  • Increased levels of energy.
  • Relaxation and reduced stress.
  • Continued independent living in later life.

Health Risks of Inactivity

  • Premature death.
  • Heart disease.
  • Obesity High blood pressure.
  • Adult onset diabetes.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Stroke.
  • Depression.
  • Colon Cancer.

Personal Fitness Training

Finding time to stay fit and active can be a challenge, and maximizing your effort and time is essential. Consulting a personal trainer is an excellent opportunity to assist you in reaching your fitness goals.

The university’s EFAP program provides U of A faculty and staff access to up to two hours of personal fitness consultation at no cost.

View Fitness Consultation Service overview

Book an Appointment

To make an appointment with a trainer, contact our Assistance Program provider, Homewood Health .

Jumpstart your Wellness

Jumpstart your Wellness is a self-directed program with initial coaching consultation that provides healthy solutions for your wellness, lifestyle, productivity, work life and behaviour. Jumpstart your Wellness participants have access to online health libraries containing articles and resource materials by health and wellness professionals, supplemented by a program workbook.

Access the Program

To access this program, create an account on Homeweb .

Corporate Wellness Program

The University of Alberta is a member of the City of Edmonton's Corporate Wellness program. Get discounts on city-run sports and recreation facilities simply by showing your ONEcard when purchasing your passes.

View Corporate Wellness Rate Sheet

Office Yoga

woman stretching at desk

Working in an office or at a computer for prolonged periods of time can put strain on the neck, shoulder and back muscles, leading to stiffness. This tension can cause headaches as well as back, neck and shoulder pain. If left unattended, it could also impact your ability to function effectively at work and your overall quality of life. Simple techniques such as office yoga can help alleviate the pain and other symptoms by releasing tension and increasing muscle strength and flexibility.

Take a few minutes for yourself and incorporate office Yoga into your daily routine.

Benefits of Office Yoga

  • Released tension.
  • Stronger muscles.
  • Decreased stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Improved concentration and memory.
  • Improved balance.
  • Decreased pain.
  • Improved immunity.

If you have any pre-existing health concerns relating to the neck, back or shoulders it is recommended that you check with your doctor prior to initiating this type of activity. As with any physical activity, if you experience pain or discomfort from these exercises you should discontinue the activity.

Getting Started

Yoga is a very spiritual practice that takes time to learn and requires concentration so when you are starting out follow these guidelines:

  • Whenever you do a Yoga routine, you should take a few moments to just sit quietly and concentrate on your breathing. It is important to connect your mind, body, and spirit to become focused on the movements you are about to perform.
  • You do not need to do the whole yoga routine given here. Until you become accustomed to the movements and the breathing, you should select one exercise from each of the 4 sections. Another option is to focus on one whole section only based on where you notice tension of your muscles. Or another option would be to try one of the sample routines provided below.
  • After you have become accustomed to the exercises you can add to your routine if you choose to.
  • The sample routines provided below take about 15 minutes to complete, which is easily incorporated into one of your breaks. By choosing a shorter routine to do you will still reap the benefits of the exercises, feel refreshed, and re-energized. The maximum amount of time you should spend on an office yoga routine is 30 minutes.
  • Try and include Office Yoga in your routine 2 to 3 times per week. If you work at a computer for long hours it is recommended that you try to do the routine at least 2 times per week. 


View the diagrams and descriptions of the exercises within the routines in Office Yoga .


Stretch Break!

Neck + Shoulders - Standing Routine

Neck + Shoulders - Seated Routine 


Upper Back + Chest - Seated Routine

Hips + Low Back - Routine #1 

Hips + Low Back -  Routine #2