It’s no secret that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for you. We’ve known it for a long time and we’re suffering from it more and more. The World Health Organisation estimates that a sedentary lifestyle is the main cause of disability and disease today. Due to the type of work we do, most of us spend 8 or more hours a day sitting at work. After that, we go home and sit more, watching TV or playing video games.
If you are one of these people, you should read the article below and learn more about the potential physical and mental health risks that this lifestyle carries.
Obesity is an epidemic worldwide. People are getting fatter and fatter and it’s hard for the healthcare system to deal with this problem. One of the main reasons for this, apart from the horrendous diets, is a sedentary lifestyle. We generally move a lot less during the day and spend much fewer calories. Therefore, the majority of food we eat is not used but ends up stored as fat.
Moderate exercise several times a day is all that we need to offset these negative consequences and become healthier.
Our heart is a muscle that never stops working as long as we are alive. Like any other muscle in our body, it needs to be exercised in order to stay healthy and strong. Unfortunately, if you live a sedentary lifestyle, your heart and your whole cardiovascular system do not get much exercise.
Therefore, cardiovascular diseases are much more common in individuals who sit the majority of their day. Moreover, as we have already mentioned, sitting for a long time increases your chances of gaining weight, which can further increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Chronic back and neck pain are very common in individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for prolonged periods of time puts your body in an unnatural position, which makes your muscles become weak and stiff. In turn, this causes bad posture and leads to chronic pain.
To prevent this from happening, you should invest in a standing desk and alternate between sitting and standing. Try to gradually increase the amount of time you stand while working. Also, do frequent neck and low back exercises to prevent your muscles from becoming weak.
A sedentary lifestyle does not affect only your body but your mind as well. If you spend the majority of your time sitting in a dark room in front of a computer and typing, you have higher chances of developing depression and anxiety. It is scientifically proven that spending time in nature helps you to be happier and more content with your life. Moreover, being active, moving a lot and exercising, causes your body to secrete more “happy hormones”, such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which will help you avoid feeling depressed.
How to Minimize These Health Risks?
Unfortunately, you probably have to go to work every day and spend one-third of your day there. However, you do not need to sit all the time. Stand up regularly and move around. Also, try to ask your company to provide you with a standing desk which will help you a lot as well. In your free time, sit as little as possible. Develop an active hobby and try to stick to it!