Sedentary lifestyle is a type of life that some individuals conduct, engaging seldom physical activity. To be more specific to do activities that are done often sitting or lying down like reading, watching television, playing video games or use electronic equipment several hours a day.
This article discusses the bad effects of a sedentary life related to different aspects of our life; the causes that have lead societies to reduce lately motor activity, the risks of a prolonged inactivity and some tips on how to fix some habits that can cause different problems related to health.
Numerous statistics have shown that around the globe especially in developed countries the number of people who spend long hours sitting or doing poor physical activity are far more than those that are more physically active. The rate in mortality for people who spend a sedentary life, have a 71% of increase mortality on those that spend at least 30 minutes per day training physically.
Why are we becoming more sedentary?
During the last century human society has witnessed an incredible mutation in relation to lifestyle. Things that we able to do today in terms of technology, communication, traveling, science research can be unthinkable for people how were living at the beginning of last century.
Over the last hundred years many manual labor jobs have been shifted to office jobs due to technological advance and globalization, causing a decline of jobs who require more physical activity. Humans have been able to quickly adapt to those changes not only in relation to work but also in their day life activities like using vehicles as much as possible, avoiding walking even short distances and spending long hours in front of a screen or sitting on a desk.
It has been estimated that an individual who doesn’t have an average of 150 minutes of exercise a week can be at risk of the unhealthy long term effects of sedentary lifestyle. Let’s see in deeper what are the harmful effects of a long physical inactivity.
Health implications to consider
Obesity is one of the most common problem that people who perform poor physical activity have to face it. After the body starts to get weight the risk of heart disease, diabetes and many other problems is quite high and often psychological factors like loss of self-confidence might arise as well.
When the level of body fat increase highly the body can produce hormones that cause a process where the cells grow and divide more rapidly letting the damage ones to multiply and spread easily.
The effects of spending long hours sitting on a chair can lead to degenerate the spine disks’ due to excessive disks pression mostly related on the lower back.
Stress and pour sleeping habits
Sedentary lifestyle can increase tiredness, nervousness, loss of sleep. When the body is inactive for long time can badly affect the metabolism which regulates the amount of energy that the body gets from food. Regular basis exercise can prevent the body to keep the metabolism working, consuming more energy and producing endorphins which help to reduce stress and even sleep better.
Tips to change some habits
To become more orientated towards a dynamic lifestyle we should not consider exercise only. It is also important to consider modest amount of activities that can be still beneficial and that can have a large impact if performed with perseverance like:
- To cover some routes walking or cycling instead of using cars or other type of transportation.
- Use the stairs as much is possible instead of using lifts.
- Stand instead of sit when it is possible at home or in the office.
- Set up a time during the day to walk preferably outside in the fresh air.
- Take regular breaks if you are in front of a computer screen or TV screen stretching and walking around.
The effects of a sedentary lifestyle on muscles.
Lack of physical activity can cause in the long term muscle deterioration and in the worst cases it can lead to muscle atrophy (loss of muscle tissue), prevent blood vessels to enlarge and to produce less of nitric oxide which can cause early muscle fatigue. Sedentary individuals can develop also muscle and joint stiffness and increase the production of hyaluronic acid which can retain water from muscle tissues and cause poor lubrication.
Chronic disease related to a sedentary life style
Unfortunately the list of chronic disease related to the topic we’ve discussed so far is quite long, below are illustrated a few that should be of main interest:
Development of type 2 diabetes caused by glucose intolerance and an unbalanced combination of certain enzymes.
Blood cloths due to oxygen deficiency in some parts of the body ( especially legs).
Rapid aging and death of brain cells, which can lead prematurely to develop mental pathologies like dementia or Alzheimer.
Osteoporosis – A disease in which the quality and density of the bones are reduces, becoming porous and prone to fractures. It can be also caused by different factors like eating disorders and low calcium intake however, insulin grow factors and growth hormone can highly relate to bone formation and they anabolic effects.
I hope to not have scared you about all the bad consequences that can result from conducting a sedentary lifestyle. Believe it or not, an active physicals lifestyle can definitely improve our life and health in many ways. In order to be successful and to obtain good results we need to be perseverant and set up some goals which we are going to achieve at some stages.
The benefits that we can achieve with our daily efforts are countless if we keep ourselves motivated and perseverant. Stay healthy and have a good workout!:)