A sedentary lifestyle has been proven to increase mortality.

Consequences of a Sedentary Lifestyle: 5 Ways in Which It Is Harming You

Published: 01:19PM 07 April 2022

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Alfisha Sabri

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Do you promise yourself physical activity but fail to keep your promise? What might give you the much-needed push is knowing what physical inactivity does to your body. Prolonged physical inactivity is also known as a sedentary lifestyle and it paves the way for an unhealthy body and an unhealthy mind. According to Medical News Today,

“sedentary behavior is any activity involving sitting, reclining, or lying down that has a very low energy expenditure.”
Source- Medical News Today
Source- Medical News Today

In this blog, we will address the detrimental effects that a sedentary lifestyle can have on you. The World Health Organisation (WHO) records approximately two million deaths per year due to prolonged physical inactivity. Similarly, a study by the National Library of Medicine suggests that approximately 31% of the global population aged ≥15 years engages in insufficient physical activity, and it is known to contribute to the death of approximately 3.2 million people every year.

Keeping these statistics in mind, by the end of this blog, we hope to convince you to inculcate some kind of movement in your daily routine. You can prevent yourself from the 5 dangerous consequences mentioned below-  

1. Furthers Inactivity

Source- Bangor Daily News
Source- Bangor Daily News

Those of you who have been victims of a sedentary lifestyle will understand how physical inactivity is a vicious cycle of never-ending procrastination. And it is not just limited to one domain of your life. If you’re not active in working out, it tends to affect your consistency at work, the functioning of your brain, and so on. The laziness creeps from doing basic chores to making important decisions.

2. Metabolic Diseases

Source- BQ Personal Training
Source- BQ Personal Training

You must be aware that a direct result of physical inactivity can be obesity. However, it is not limited to just this. Studies have found that metabolic diseases such as Diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, and Dyslipidemia are more common in people who spend a lot of their time sitting without performing any physical activity. According to a study by American Diabetes Association, people with metabolic syndrome spent a greater percentage of time as sedentary, had longer average sedentary bouts, and had lower intensity during the sedentary time. Furthermore, Metabolic Syndrome has been found to be one of the major public health concerns all across the world. Hence, in order to achieve a healthier body, you should start thinking about bringing changes to your sedentary lifestyle.

3. Chronic Ailments

Source- BASS Medical Group
Source- BASS Medical Group

A sedentary lifestyle does not only directly increase the risk of curable metabolic diseases, as mentioned above, it also furthers the risk of fatal chronic diseases. A study by the National Library of Medicine shows that the risk of cancer was 13% higher in people with the longest sedentary time. In addition to this, a John Hopkin’s Medicine study suggests that longer sedentary times were also a cause of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Often we see that people turn toward exercising regularly only when they have been diagnosed with a medical condition. And even though many do manage to alter their lives and cure their ailments, prevention is always better than cure.    

4. Degrades Mental Health

Source- Futurity
Source- Futurity

Being in the same space day in and day out, without moving around is bound to have negative effects on the mind, as it does on the body. According to VeryWell Mind, sitting for more than eight hours a day causes tiredness, decreases motivation, and makes it difficult to manage stress and anxiety. In prolonged periods, it also causes depression. While these conditions themself are bad, they also seep into daily activities, making it even more difficult to get them done. Hence, it is always advised to go on vacations, walk regularly, play some kind of sport, or to even work out from home.

5. Shortens Life Span

Source- John Hopkins Medicine
Source- John Hopkins Medicine

Taking into account all the health risks mentioned above, one is likely to conclude that a sedentary lifestyle will harm your health and reduce your life span. However, this isn’t just a mere conclusion from the above points. There are studies that have proven this. According to The Health Site, research has suggested that the time equal to 20 years of a sedentary lifestyle can double the mortality risk.    

Source- Aaptiv
Source- Aaptiv

With the pandemic and the work-from-home culture, a sedentary lifestyle and prolonged physical inactivity have become more commonplace. Moreover, the lack of enough spaces available for exercise has also contributed to this unhealthy trend. The increased use of social media, online streaming platforms, and such forms of entertainment are also some factors that discourage people from physical activity.

Inculcating some kind of physical activity, if not a proper fitness routine, in your lifestyle is imperative to lead a healthy life. Most experts that we spoke to advise at least one hour of movement per day. From the SocialBoat community, for example, people like Gururaj Jadhav and Meenakshi (@mini_wod) advise people to take up any sport that they like and practice it every day. Yoga, pilates, and calisthenics trainers from the community like Aarja (@fitwithaabi) and Aju (@aju_baji) suggest specific exercises to take up while working on the desk. More on this can be found in our future blogs.

We hope that you found our blog useful and are now heading out for a walk!

For more such health-related information, visit SocialBoat.

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