“Price of sitting too much, comes with a rusted body and accelerated ageing. Are you up for it?”
Sedentary lifestyle is a way of life where a person (be it a child or an adult) does not indulge in any physical activity or exercise. A more colloquial term “couch potato” is often used to describe people who intentionally follow such lifestyle. However, those whose work demands sitting for 8 to 10 hours in front of a computer unintentionally also fall into this category.
Modern modes of entertainment demand one to be less physically inactive. These mainly include playing video games, watching television and using computer for social networking or watching movies. Sedentary lifestyle today cannot necessarily be related to one being lazy. A person can be quite busy working, but their work spares them from the opportunity of being physically active.
Effects of Sedentary Lifestyle
Sedentary lifestyle has been reported to show direct relation with metabolic syndromes and is known to influence the body mass index of an individual, blood pressure and heart rate. Hence, prolonged periods of sitting and inactivity raise the levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL). This in turn contributes to major lifestyle disorders like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure problems, obesity, kidney problems, etc.
Too much of time spent in front of a television (laptops, tablets, phones too!) and a routine habit of consuming fast foods can increase the chances of obesity. Metabolism becomes slower and results in secondary complications like diabetes, kidney and heart problems. It also decreases the overall life expectancy of an individual.
Sedentary lifestyle is a known contributory factor to diabetes, mainly type 2 diabetes. It is caused when body cells develops resistance towards the hormone, insulin. Insulin is a hormone essential to maintain the levels of glucose in the blood.
People who always sit, lose their muscle and bone strength. Also, lack of blood circulation, due to prolonged sitting, affects their thinking abilities as well.
Tips to stay active
- Spend less leisure time on indoor passive activities.
- Indulge in outdoor games or activities like gardening, swimming, jogging, etc.
- Follow mild exercises like light physical stretching, bending, turning etc. on a daily basis.
- Individuals involved in activities or jobs which require sitting for long hours, can always afford to spare at least 5 min to stand. Need to speak to a colleague, you can always walk up to their table and speak. That again makes you move and is a simple physical activity.
- Using stairs instead of elevators is also a good exercise.
- Standing involves more muscles and burns more calories. While talking on a phone, try to walk and talk.
- Go for small walks instead of immediately sitting or sleeping after meals.
- Opt for either walking or riding a bicycle to nearby places rather than using automobiles.
We, humans are a result of thousand years of evolution. We evolved to explore the world on our feet. What we do is exactly opposite of that, to be physically entrapped in a chair. It is needless to say that we have to walk more to prevent our body from becoming home to illnesses!