The constantly evolving world of technology has got us wrapped around its finger, and rightly so! Imagine dealing with a lockdown and pandemic 30 years ago? You guessed it right. The correct word to describe the feeling is Unimaginable.Our growing dependence on technology to maximize our convenience and comfort has led us into a physically inactive stump. The access to all kinds of entertainment at our fingertips has instilled a sedentary lifestyle that we have habituated to without noticing its ill effects.
No, we are not calling you physically inactive if you take a couple of days off to get some rest. We understand that everyone has lazy days with decreased productivity, which does not mean you suffer from a sedentary lifestyle.
The CDC requires a minimum of 150 minutes of physical movement or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week to maintain a physically active lifestyle. The failure to meet these requirements for a prolonged period means you are suffering from an inactive lifestyle.
While various causes ranging from poor mental health to sleep disorders and chronic diseases, physical inactivity remains the fourth most common cause of increased mortality worldwide.
The physical and mental effects that a physically inactive lifestyle induces can be counteracted by incorporating exercises and maintaining a well-balanced diet in your routine.
All Work No Play is an Unfit Way
A sedentary lifestyle is often a result of a desk-bound job or long commute time that requires sitting for long periods without movement. One can compensate for the lack of physical activity throughout the week by participating in a strenuous workout using the bursts of motivation to outweigh the side effects of sitting disease.
But, if you seem to be stuck in the vicious cycle of an inactive lifestyle, you are likely to continue living a sedentary lifestyle. It is easy to fall into the trap of binge eating, drinking or watching over the weekend, or trying to cash in on your missed hours of sleep by remaining sedentary throughout the weekend.
You may find yourself preferring non-athletic activities such as doing puzzles or knitting over something that requires movement, such as basketball. Like everything that remains unused for a long time starts losing its functionality, the lack of exercise affects our joints and muscles, resulting in health complications, aches, and pains.
There are various short-term and long-term health effects of a physically inactive lifestyle. Some of these side effects are:
- Increased cholesterol
- Reduced muscle mass
- Restricted muscles and joints
- Physical pain and chronic diseases
A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of heart-related, gastrointestinal, and respiratory diseases. Certain types of cancers have been linked to an inactive lifestyle. Leading a mundane life without including exercise or activity leads to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
The Ill Effects of Sedentary Living
Your muscles require movement to maintain their efficiency and functionality. When we lead a sedentary lifestyle, our muscles and joints become weak, hampering our ability to carry body weight. It can increase the risk of injury due to falls.
Susceptible to Heart Diseases
Like your limbs, your heart is a muscle that needs serious maintenance through exercise to stay healthy.
Physical inactivity accompanied by bad eating and sleeping habits increases cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, stroke, or heart attack. A sedentary lifestyle weakens the heart and clogs the arteries, which results in poor blood circulation and flow.
Obesity and Overweight
The lack of physical activity in your day-to-day life results in increased calories, which ultimately causes you to become overweight or suffer from obesity.
It severely lowers your metabolism, hampering your body’s ability to digest sugar and fat.
Reduced bone density is another common side effect of leading a sedentary lifestyle. It causes your bones to become brittle, increasing their risk of breakage.
Unfortunately, Osteoporosis grows worse with age making it difficult to maintain your bone density as you grow older.
Raised Blood Sugar Level
Inactivity and lack of physical exercise are the number one causes of type 2 diabetes. Reduced metabolism decreases insulin sensitivity and results in increased blood sugar levels.
Compromised Mental Health
Inactivity can induce a feeling of stagnancy, which impacts our mental health severely. It can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress.
Physical activity enables us to utilize our calories effectively. Exercising helps us train our muscles and enables us to create healthy sleeping habits.
How To Incorporate Physical Activity In Your Daily Routine
We understand that factors such as the location and type of your job are enablers for leading a physically inactive lifestyle. You can easily combat this by making simple lifestyle changes, such as swapping your chair for a bike desk.
You can opt for walking around your office every 30 minutes or increasing your time on your feet, increasing stamina and strength in your legs. If you are working from home, multitasking is the key to achieving your fitness goals.
Try to include household chores in your breaks to keep you up and to move. Tasks such as sweeping, mopping, and dusting are easy ways to incorporate physical movement into your daily routine.
You can spread your breaks throughout the day and break your exercise routine instead of one strenuous activity. Taking the stairs at work or parking away from the entrance of your office are easy habits that can help attain better fitness goals.
Creative and fun ways such as playing frisbee, Zumba, and dance workouts can replace dull and basic workout routines. You can switch your transportation method by biking instead of driving, helping you increase your muscle strength.