A sedentary lifestyle is a major concern nowadays in modern society. People have to spend a lot of time in offices, drive cars instead of walking, use escalators and elevators instead of taking the stairs, or sit at home and watch TV instead of going out and playing games. A sedentary lifestyle has many negative effects on our health. It makes you more prone to obesity, cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and osteoarthritis. However, not all sedentary lifestyles are bad. There is also what we call active sedentary lifestyle that involves moving around less but being more active during those times. This article will help you understand why a sedentary lifestyle isn’t good and how you can avoid it.
Physical Health Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle
- Obesity: If you are sedentary, you are more likely to gain weight and become obese. Being obese is harmful to your health, as it can lead to many diseases and complications such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, liver disease, and many more.
- Cancer: Studies have shown that the risk of certain cancers may be higher for people who are inactive. These cancers include colorectal, breast, endometrial, and kidney cancer.
- Cardio-Vascular Diseases (CV Diseases): Being inactive can increase your risk of developing diseases like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes which are both linked to CV Diseases.
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that can affect your joints. Being inactive can make you more likely to get this disease due to the fact that your joints don’t move as much and are therefore more likely to wear out.
- Kidney Disease: Studies have found that your kidney function is reduced if you are inactive.
- Neurological Disorders: Some studies suggest that being inactive increases your risk of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Psychological Health Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle
- Less Self-Esteem: If you are sedentary, you are likely to have lower self-esteem. Studies have shown that people who are less physically active have lower self-esteem than more active people.
- More Likely to be Depressed: Studies have shown that the risk of depression is higher in people who are sedentary. People who are sedentary have slower reaction times, lower self-esteem, and are less optimistic about the future.
- Harder to Connect with Others: Studies have shown that people who are inactive have a harder time connecting with other people. This is because your social skills are often linked to your physical health and energy levels.
- Harder to be Optimistic: People who are sedentary have a harder time being optimistic about the future because they are less active and have lower energy levels, which means they are less likely to try new things and succeed.
Why is Sitting too Long Bad for Your Body?
When you sit down, your muscles don’t get to move and stay active, which makes them get weaker and less toned. When you sit, your metabolism slows down, which means your body uses less energy. When your metabolism slows down and you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. This is called a sedentary lifestyle. In addition to that, sitting for a long period of time also causes bad posture. Bad posture can lead to back and neck pains, headaches, and even make you look less attractive. Sitting for a long time can also cause health issues like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even early death.
Ways to Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle
- Take More Breaks: You don’t have to be constantly moving all the time. If you have to sit at your desk for a long period of time, you can take breaks by doing things like standing up, stretching, going for a walk, and drinking water.
- Put Down Your Phone: Sitting down and staring at your phone can make you less active. Turn off your phone when you have to do something that requires you to be active, like when you have to go for a walk or go to the gym.
- Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables: These foods are full of vitamins and minerals that will help you stay active and healthy. Make sure to eat enough fruits and vegetables to stay well-nourished and energetic. - Stay Positive: A positive attitude can help you stay active and motivated to do physical activities.
- Get Rid of Your Couch: You don’t have to get rid of your couch, but you should make it less of a priority when choosing new furniture for your home.
A sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy and can lead to many diseases. Instead of sitting all day, try to be more active by taking breaks, eating healthy, and staying positive. You can also try some of the things mentioned above to further prevent yourself from having a sedentary lifestyle.