woman sitting

Too much sitting is the new smoking

Ever since the pandemic started, we’ve all been forced to work and study at home. We’ve unconsciously spent most of our day sitting without the daily commute to school and office. We spend more than 10 hours a day sitting in front of our computers without realizing it!

The couch-potato lifestyle has long been discouraged by doctors. The human body is meant to be upright and moving for all its parts to function properly. While you’re not into any vices and watching the food you eat, sitting for too long with little to no exercise can still increase the risk of getting serious illnesses.

Sedentary Lifestyle Effects

Weight gain

When you spend more hours sitting and lying down throughout the day, you’ll burn fewer calories, your metabolism slows down, and you’re more likely to be overweight.

Weaker bones

Your bones lose mineral content as you stay in a sedentary lifestyle. When you don’t move your body around that much, your bones and joints become brittle and weak.

Weak muscle

The same goes for your muscles, if you don’t exercise, your muscles will lose endurance and strength. You’ll tire out quickly even on the slightest of physical activity.

Poor immune system

Since the body is not able to function properly, your immune system is also affected. With your immune system down, you’ll be prone to a lot of sicknesses and diseases around you.

Chronic sickness

Hormonal imbalance, inflammation, poor blood circulation – all these are associated with a sedentary lifestyle and might lead to a more serious sickness. This is what we are ultimately trying to avoid. 

Sedentary Lifestyle Risks

Obesity

Weight gain, if not controlled or stopped, leads to obesity. And obesity is associated with many serious diseases and health conditions. Some of them are hypertension, thyroid problems, joint pains, sleep apnea, stroke, and more. 

Heart diseases

Your blood flow slows down when you’re not active, and it leads to high blood pressure, your cholesterol levels go down and your blood sugar goes up. When this happens, the walls of your blood vessels get damaged, which in turn increases the risk of heart attacks and other heart-related illnesses.

Osteoporosis

If your bones and muscles have been inactive for a long time, your body’s regulation is affected. This makes your bones weaker and osteoporosis sets in.  You’ll lose your muscle flexibility, causing pain and inflammation.

Cancer

Lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer are some of the risks you are looking at if you keep being physically inactive for a long time.

Dementia, anxiety, and depression

When you’re lethargic for too long, your mental health suffers too. You become restless, stressed and depression seeps in. This is common nowadays between adolescents and adults because of the great amount of time spent on their gadgets. Poor sleep and an unhealthy diet can make things worse.

Sedentary lifestyle and mental health

Being inactive for longer hours per day decreases one’s motivation, contributes to fatigue, making it hard to manage stress and anxiety. It’s a downward spiral because if left unimpeded, it’ll worsen and lead to more serious mental health issues.

Behavioral change helps and empowers us to feel hopeful. One positive action can lift the body, mind, and spirit. If motivation is increased, the energy goes along with it, pushing down anxiety, depression, and stress.

Start moving today

Exercise

Start slow. If you’ve been inactive for a while, you can start with a 5–10-minute routine of whatever exercise you can manage. Remember, a quick daily exercise is better than none at all. You can gradually increase the time or add more exercise based on your age and health.

Be active at home

If you love watching TV, lift some weights, do some ironing, or jump on an exercise bike while doing so. Visit your garden from time to time, vitamin D does a lot of wonders to our health and mood.

Be active at work

If you work in an office, try to spend a few minutes every hour standing and walking around. Go for a walk during your breaks. Have standing or walking meetings. If you work from home, you can walk around your neighborhood during your lunch. 

Conclusion

An inactive lifestyle has a huge impact on our overall health. Especially during this stressful time of the pandemic. We must understand the consequences of this deadly lifestyle. Let’s do something about it while we can and improve our overall well-being.

Do you have other questions about mental health other than those discussed above?  Are you looking to find out how to improve your mental health?  Check this link to our website for further details and other options.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels


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