Modern convenience has negated our need to be as active as we once were. Sedentary lifestyles are having a profoundly negative effect on us, physically, mentally, and emotionally, often without us being aware.
What is a Sedentary Lifestyle?
A sedentary lifestyle, by definition, is a type of lifestyle with no regular physical activity.
A person living a sedentary life, for example, is often sitting or lying down while engaged in an activity like reading, socialising, watching television, playing video games, using a mobile phone or computer for much of the day.
The work from home movement has had the opposite effect on actual physical movement.
Sedentary lifestyle effects have a negative impact on life expectancy! It doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, plus increases the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, and creativity.
A lack of physical activity is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths worldwide. Sitting has become the new smoking!
Sitting too much can shorten your life and accelerate biological aging. Prolonged sitting can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all of which are factors for heart disease. It can also decrease metabolic rate.
The effects of a sedentary life can also lead to the risk of developing sarcopenia, a decrease in muscle mass and function, as well as osteopenia, which is the deterioration of bone mass.
Regular exercise will improve:
- Back Pain
- Core Strength
- Weak Muscles
- Fat Loss
- Stroke Risk
- Cardiovascular Illness
- Type 2 Diabetes Risk
- High Blood Pressure
Physical and mental health are obviously connected, therefore sitting for long hours every day may increase stress, anxiety, and depression levels. Our bodies embrace being challenged because we encounter new problems and learn how to overcome them. Sitting for long periods of time may affect the brain’s ability to absorb and retain new information because it is deprived of various stimulation.
Physical activity leads to an enhanced state of consciousness in which we experience heightened awareness, focus, and enjoyment in the present moment. This mental state results from the demands we place on our bodies when we are physically active. Physical health positively affects mental health.
A sedentary lifestyle goes beyond the negative impact of weight gain and muscle loss. It can compromise our emotional health. We all understand the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and mobility issues, however, inactivity can have a negative impact on our emotional health and wellbeing.
Physical activity is directly connected to boosting our moods, enhancing our creativity, and feeling something other than the status quo. Endorphins are nature’s painkiller and provide a sense of wellbeing and euphoria.
For example, outdoor exercise is an amazing mood booster. Fresh air and sunshine are good for us, not just for the Vitamin D dose but also for connecting with nature. Research into nature connectedness shows that people who spend more time outdoors and feel connected to nature, tend to be more positive, feel a sense of vitality, and experience greater satisfaction in life.
Move Your Body for Authentic Health
The dangers of a sedentary life are not trivial. The available evidence suggests that keeping active is very important to our health and well-being for a long and vital life. Whether you choose to heed those warnings is up to you, but one thing’s for sure: sedentary lifestyles can cause serious long-term damage, so it’s well worth considering making a change if you know that you’ve been a COVID couch potato.
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