“Price of sitting too much comes with a rusted body and accelerated aging. Are you up for it?”
A 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 a 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 a computer for social networking or watching movies. A 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
A 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.
Spending too much time in front of TV (laptops, tablets, cell phones too!) and eating fast food can increase your chances of becoming obese. It slows down your metabolism and leads to secondary complications such as diabetes, kidney and heart problems. It also shortens a person’s overall life expectancy.
A sedentary lifestyle is known to contribute to the development of diabetes, mainly type 2 diabetes. It occurs when the body’s cells develop resistance to the hormone insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to maintain blood sugar levels.
People who sit all the time lose muscle and bone strength. In addition, poor blood circulation due to sitting for a long time also affects thinking ability.
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 the product of thousands of years of evolution. We have evolved to explore the world with our feet. What we do is the exact opposite. We are physically confined to a chair. Needless to say, we need to walk more so that our bodies don’t become a home for disease!