Active Living: A simple way to increase your daily activity without exercising

C4L_master logoWhat is active living? Active living is a healthy way of life that integrates physical activity into daily routines. You can start small and build your way up to reaching the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity per day without scheduled exercise. This can be achieved in many different ways that are appropriate for most people regardless of age or current fitness level. The idea is that small changes make a big difference. Below we’ve listed some simple and easy ideas to live actively:

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift (build up gradually and hold on to the rail if need be)
  • Walk up the escalators rather than stand (same as above)
  • Walk to your destination or get off the bus/tube/train one stop early to walk a shorter distance.
  • Cycle or run to work (start of slowly, walking intermittently if necessary)
  • Leave your desk at lunch (eat on another floor or in good weather, outside)
  • Stand whilst on the phone at work
  • Have standing or walking meetings at work
  • Where appropriate, walk to a colleagues desk instead of emailing
  • Invest in or construct a DIY standing desk for home or office use

–        In general, reduce the time you spend doing sedentary activities! Time spent watching television, reading and being on the computer can all add up. Try to swap some of these sedentary activities for more active ones like going for a walk with friends or dancing for the night. Gardening, walking the dog, strenuous housework/DIY, carrying the weekly shop home, playing with children and sightseeing are all part of active living.

Being more physically active can greatly reduce your risk of getting cancer and coupled with other lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, a healthier diet, sun awareness and drinking less alcohol your risk decreases further for cancer and other preventable diseases. Click maintaining a healthy lifestyle for more information on our website.

Macmillan Take a Stand for Workplace Health

We know that a growing number of people living with cancer are of working age, and over 70% of adults are employed and spend a large proportion of their time in the workplace. We also know that a healthy working environment can have a positive impact on health and help with long-term problems, such as cancer. So we’ve joined forces with Brunel University to take part in an exciting research study to understand more about how to develop a healthy working environment by implementing sit-stand workstations within the workplace, and evaluating their impact on physical activity and overall health levels.

Sit-stand workstations are height-adjustable desks, which can be moved up and down to allow you to sit or stand during the working day. These unconventional desks can be used to reduce prolonged sitting in the workplace. Office workers sit for over two thirds of the working day, which is linked to poor health outcomes, regardless of how active people are outside of work.

Thirty employees from Macmillan and Public Health England are taking part in the study and are being analysed at various time points to see how physically active they are. The study is made up of three different groups: one control group that continue to use their normal desk and two groups that receive a sit-stand workstation, one of which also receives additional support to use it.

This study is the first of its kind to look at the long-term effects of sit-stand workstations and is taking place over a period of 13 months. The study kicked off in October 2014 so we look forward to seeing the results at the end of 2015. The findings from this study could radically change understanding of health in the workplace and help us to better support people affected by cancer, so watch this space…

Dorset Living Well Active is now live!

We are excited to announce that The Dorset Living Well Active Project new website is now live , providing a ‘shopfront’ for the activities, events, learning and support opportunities on offer. Once a person living with cancer has registered as a member on the site they are able to view a dedicated activity/service information page. There will also be news, events and testimonials which will be promoted through the site and social media. Watch this space for developments on the project!

Do you use online tools to help you get yourself or other people moving more and aware of the benefits to physical activity? Tweet us @Macmovemore we’d love to see what like minded individuals are doing.


We are extremely pleased to announce that Tottenham Hotpur Foundation’s Macmillan After Cancer Exercise (ACE) programme reached a milestone this week when the 100th participant was referred on to the 12 week programme, delivered as part of the Club’s commitment to fighting cancer. Run by the Foundation’s specialist cancer rehabilitation instructors, anyone living with and beyond cancer in Haringey or Enfield can easily access the free exercise sessions, available on either a group or one-to-one basis at selected Fusion Leisure Centres.

Differing considerably from typical exercise sessions offered by local gyms, Macmillan ACE gives people affected by cancer the support and motivation to be active, focusing on gentle exercises that promote a steady progression. Through a combination of cycling, walking, circuits, aerobics, zumba and tai-chi to strengthen the body, progress is monitored over a 12 week period where participants are encouraged to reach personal goals.

Zohret was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. After chemotherapy and radiotherapy she had a mastectomy to remove her left breast. When the cancer came back in her right breast in 2013 she had a second mastectomy, resulting in lots of pain in her arms and feelings of depression. This is Zohret’s story:

“In October 2014 I was referred on to the ACE programme. Initially, I felt self conscious and very shy about the idea of exercising in public. But, when I realised it was doing me some good I began to force myself to go along to my weekly session. I’m now half-way through the programme and I tell everyone about it. Not only do I feel physically and emotionally stronger, I see myself more positively when I look in the mirror.

“The Macmillan ACE programme has given me hope and taught me to accept my body for how it looks after cancer. Not only has it developed my strength but the exercises have given me energy and improved my self confidence. I’m no longer taking anti-depressants and feel much better about myself emotionally.”

In 2011, Anthony was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and metastatic spinal cord compression. He was told he would never be able to walk again.

Three and a half years on from his diagnosis he is proud to say that cancer hasn’t beaten him yet, and that he is able to walk short distances. Having joined the Macmillan ACE programme through a referral from his GP, Anthony attended the Enfield sessions at Southbury Leisure Centre. Here he explains how the programme has helped him:

“I am not one for exercising on my own, so it was great to have someone to help me. The ACE programme got me out of the house and back in to some sort of shape and fitness. Not only has it been good for my health, but also my mind, confidence and positivity.

“I have loved every minute of it.”

Grant Cornwell, Chief Executive Officer, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation said,

“At Tottenham Hotspur we are committed to fighting cancer. With one in three people affected by the disease we are proud to use our place at the heart of the community to provide support to those affected by cancer, and their families.”

Since the start of the 2013/14 season, the Club has been helping to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and promoting the importance of early diagnosis through its support of major NHS campaign, Get to know cancer, which aims to save up to 1,000 lives in London each year through early diagnosis. In the future it would be great to see more footballs clubs following Tottenham Hotspurs fantastic example.

If you live in the Haringey or Enfield area and would like more information about the After Cancer Exercise programme please download a referral form from and take it along to your GP or Cancer specialist nurse.