HALIFAX: Doctors Nova Scotia Healthy Tomorrow Foundation has launched the second iteration of their social marketing campaign, Make Your Move, with an aim to motivate and support Nova Scotians in moving more throughout the day.

Increasing movement and reducing sedentary behaviour is a focus area experts say is increasing in importance as we mark the two-year milestone of living through restrictions and various levels of isolation due to COVID-19.

“When we first created Make Your Move, we didn’t expect to be in a global health pandemic,” said Dr. Alex Mitchell, Board Chair of the Healthy Tomorrow Foundation and general surgeon in Dartmouth.

“We saw an incredible interest and promising results in the first year of the campaign and now more than ever we see a significant need to support people with getting outside, connecting with one another and moving their bodies for overall wellness.” 

Developed with the support of the Province of Nova Scotia and in partnership with the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, Make Your Move is a public awareness and engagement campaign that encourages Nova Scotians to make movement an intrinsic part of their daily lives.

With COVID-19 still very much present in our communities, movement is an effective, accessible and easy way to enhance our mobility, relieve stress and anxiety, improve mood, connect with other people, and set a foundation for healthy behaviour.

The latest iteration of Make Your Move features Movement Ambassador Tara Taylor, an accomplished Preston-based artist.

“This is a thrilling partnership, with so many possibilities to help encourage people to think about movement differently and show them just how easy it is to fit into our busy lives,” says Taylor, who was the first ever artist in residence at the Halifax Public Libraries. “Since working on this campaign, I’ve been incorporating simple moves into my day and have notice a big difference in the way I feel, my mood and energy levels – it’s simple but powerful.”

First launched in 2020, the foundation’s Make Your Move campaign targets Nova Scotian women between the ages of 40-60; a segment of the population that is one of the most inactive, but who also serve as influencers of others, like family and friends. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to support a cultural shift in Nova Scotia where movement becomes part of our everyday lives.

There is an increasing need for this culture shift, a change that government has been working to address through the Let’s Get Moving Nova Scotia physical activity strategy, which aims to create a more active, inclusive and healthier population.

Most recently, the second report card released in November by ParticipACTION, gave Canadian adults an “F” for sedentary behaviour, noting that 88% of those surveyed reported they were relatively inactive for over eight waking hours per day – sitting while at work, watching television, playing video games, listening to music or commuting. 

Sedentary behaviour has increasingly been linked as a risk factor for poor health and the development of chronic diseases amongst adults, as well as leading to negative mental health outcomes and reduced cognitive function.

“Make Your Move aims to make movement powerfully and immediately accessible to everybody, because the best piece of exercise equipment ever invented is you,” says Kerry Copeland, Executive Director for Healthy Tomorrow Foundation. “Every move counts; and when we move even a little more, we improve our overall wellness, and more importantly – we feel better.”

Make Your Move encourages movement in four domains of physical activity: home, leisure, work and transportation. Adding more movement to your day is as simple as walking around the block after dinner, parking at the back of the lot, standing or stretching at your desk, getting off the bus one or two stops early, taking the stairs more often or playing with your kids.

These types of movements do not necessarily require any learned skills, and the degree of difficulty can be adapted to suit your available time, lifestyle and ability. To learn more about the campaign, visit: www.makeyourmovens.ca