Psychosocial environment Physical Environment Personal Health Practices


Funded in part by the
Government of Ontario

What is fitness? 

Physical fitness is made of general fitness, which is a state of health and well-being and specific fitness which is the ability to perform specific aspects sports or occupations.  Nutrition, exercise and rest are generally regarding as the contributing factors to achieving and maintaining healthy levels of fitness. Physical fitness is considered a measure of the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to be healthy, to resist disease, and to meet emergency situations.  In addition, fitness can include mental, social and emotional health. 

Consequences of being “unfit”: 

Without exercise, humans can experience the following; fatigue, weight gain, musculoskeletal injuries, depression and poor self-esteem.  There is also evidence that physical fitness can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. 

Four Components of Physical Fitness

Cardio-respiratory endurance is one of the four components of physical fitness.  Examples of such types of exercise include swimming, cycling, walking, jogging and aerobics. 

Muscular endurance is sometimes confused with muscular strength.  The ability of the muscle to perform an action without feeling fatigue is known as muscular endurance.  It is related to muscular strength and cardio-respiratory endurance.  

Muscular strength  Muscles become stronger when they are fatigued after force is exerted repeatedly.  This is typically achieved during activities such as weight lifting or other types of resistance training such as using therapy bands or doing pilates. 

Physical flexibility refers to the relative extensibility of muscles. Most muscles cross joints and act as pulley to move the related bones.  In order to improve flexibility and reduce stiffness, it is important to lengthen the muscles, open the joints and provide stretch to the tissues. 

Impact on the Workplace: 

When workers are fit, the following benefits are realized: 
· Satisfied, motivated staff
· Improved morale
· Lower rates of injuries
· Fewer lost-time days
· Increased productivity
· Improved patient care
· Improved public perception


Tools and Resources

ParticipACTION - Province of Ontario Health Promotion ParticipACTION is the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada. Through leadership in communications, capacity building and knowledge exchange, we inspire and support Canadians to move more.

Health Canada - Health Canada is working in concert with Canadian business, government and professional, trade, and community organizations to build a healthier and more productive Canadian workforce.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care: Active Living - The ministry encourages involvement in sport, recreation and physical activity for the health, social, and economic benefit of Ontarians and the communities in which they live

Public Health Agency of Canada: Business Case for Active Living at Work - Poor working environments and employment conditions can have a negative impact on health. It has been proven that people who have more control over their work environment and fewer job stress-related demands tend to be healthier.