Last Updated on
If you have to ask what is sedentary or more accurately, the sedentary lifestyle, then good for you. This dangerous lifestyle involves no physical activity whatsoever and contributes to excessive sitting. A double edge sword. Only a swift and unmerciful death awaits you.
If you’ve never heard of sitting is the new smoking, well, now you have. More and more recent studies not only proves but in fact gives evident that sitting is one of the unhealthiest thing we can do for our body. Excessive sitting that is. Anything in moderate is quite beneficial.
To put in perspective. The average American watches almost 7 hours of TV a day, sleeps 7-8 hours, eats 2 hours, and works 7-8 hours a day. Do the math. That’s literally the entire day of non-activity! No wonder doctors and pharmaceutical companies are making a ridiculous amount of profits.
Did you know that, according to research, the effect on your body of sitting for long periods has is similar to that of weightlessness experienced by astronauts? This may sound cool, but from a health point of view, it is anything but cool.
A sedentary lifestyle can be hazardous and has even been associated with premature death. However, breaking out of it can be a big challenge, especially if you are not sedentary through choice. If that is the case, you will need to consider strategies through which to adopt a lifestyle which is more active without changing the way you do things entirely.
Type 2 Diabetes
The precise biological mechanisms involved in this remain unknown, but researchers state that long periods of inactivity interfere with the body’s natural ability to generate insulin resistance. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 14% for every two hours spent seated. In light of this fact, it is unsurprising that the number of people suffering from this metabolic disorder has significantly increased in recent decades. As the sedentary lifestyle becomes more commonplace, so too does the incidence of diabetes. The unhealthy diet which the majority of people follow today only makes matters significantly worse.
To reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it is necessary to minimize periods of inactivity. This is particularly important for people in sedentary occupations who have little choice but to spend their days in a seated position.
The best solution is to set up regular alarms using a simple app on your smartphone. Set the alarm to go off every hour and take a break, walking around for at least five minutes at a time.
It is also possible to cut down the amount of time spent seated by setting up a standing workstation. Switch between the two positions every other hour as standing for long periods also creates its own health issues.
Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are intimately connected, as is indicated by research. This is not surprising as physical exercise is an essential factor in keeping fit. In fact, without exercising you would probably be gaining weight even if your diet was not especially unhealthy. This is because when sedentary you burn fewer calories, and people who lack regular exercise also tend to lack muscle mass which is necessary to increase metabolism during a state of rest.
When leading a sedentary lifestyle, it will often be the case that you will have limited time or opportunity to go to a gym or to practice sport regularly. Therefore, it is essential for you to have access to equipment for exercising and losing weight at home. With these tools, you will be able to make better use of what available free time you do have and become more active without significantly altering your daily schedule. This, in turn, will make the transition to a healthier active lifestyle easier.
If you are one of those people forced to be sedentary either through highly demanding work or health issues, a home gym might be a handy option, enabling you to fill your limited downtime with activity. For example, you will be able to get a short run on a treadmill while watching the morning news.
Remember, any activity is better than none! Therefore, if you don’t have the opportunity to fit an intense weight loss workout into your schedule, get in several smaller ones throughout the day. Do bear in mind though that you won’t progress much with your weight loss if you only perform a minimal amount of exercise. Remember too that any weight loss program requires diet and exercise in equal measure.
Obesity and cardiovascular disease go hand in hand, which means that a sedentary lifestyle is one of the highest risk factors for this deadly condition. Be mindful also that sitting for long periods weakens the blood vessels and generally messes up the circulatory system. The only truly effective way to at least mitigate the damage thus caused is to perform at least thirty minutes of cardio activity about 3-5 days a week. Note that this issue affects your entire cardiovascular health and that therefore the risk of stroke also increases when you are sedentary.
Setting up a home gym with cardio exercise equipment (treadmill, stair mill, etc.) is the best strategy for boosting your heart health if you lead an inactive lifestyle. This means that you should invest in these tools regardless of whether or not you need to lose weight. Cardiovascular disease prevention is quite literally a matter of survival.
As in the case of type 2 diabetes, it is not entirely clear how leading a sedentary lifestyle affects the development of cancer. However, it does. It is thought that leading a physically inactive lifestyle increases the risk of colon cancer by 40%.
As no one knows exactly what you should be doing to reduce the risk of cancer associated with a sedentary lifestyle, it would be prudent to increase your activity level in general. To do this, you should follow the steps described above as well as some others, including:
- Get a pet which requires regular walks or at least a lot of looking after so you will need to become more active yourself in order to care for it.
- Park your car at the most remote spot possible so that you get a few minutes of extra walking.
- When using a parking garage, take the stairs.
- Walk to the grocery store instead of driving whenever possible. This will not only help you to perform a bit of cardio but will also provide a measure of strength training when carrying the bags home.
- Take up an active hobby and join a social group associated with it. For example, you could start gardening and join a local gardening club which runs frequent contests. In this way, you will be more motivated to commit the labor which will be beneficial when fighting a sedentary lifestyle.
- Don’t forget that sports can be hobbies too. You don’t have to go to the gym and follow strict fitness regimes to lose weight and get more exercise. Joining a community sports team will give you both exercise and the motivation that arises from teamwork and a competitive spirit. Sometimes this can provide more motivation than attending a gym and merely following a personal regime in private.
- Sit on a stability ball instead of a chair. Bear in mind though that this will not entirely replace the benefit you will get from getting up and walking around every hour, but it can provide another option in your efforts to counter the damage that a sedentary lifestyle does to your body. It will also help you tone and shape your legs, butt, and abs.
- Dance around listening to music while you are at home. Simply turn up the volume in the morning and shake with the beat as you set about preparing for the day. This will also help to wake you up faster and get you into a positive mood.
An unhealthy lifestyle and diet is the perfect combination for diseases, cancer, and a slow and miserable death. Temptation, oh temptation. I know too well about that. What used to take a day and a bucket of sweat now only takes a third of the day and one drop of sweat. I’m talking about 3 square meals.
There are many people who still farm and produce agriculture, fruits, and vegetables. They are working physically everyday, yet they rarely eat sweets or other harmful food. On the other hand, first world countries sit a day working in their cubicle and frequenting fast food and other poisonous foods. Only medication is keeping them alive.
The human body is strong, yet fragile. When we do the same things or eat the same things over and over, well, what natural is bound to occur? And that is why the multiple choose not to eat or live a healthy life. What is easy, is easy. What is hard, is hard. The words literally speak for themselves.
Everything is a choice. Life can be hard or easy. Sitting all day is your choosing. Eating junk food, smoking, drinking, and practicing an unhealthy lifestyle is also your choosing. Stand a little when watching TV, park your car a little further, eat junk food and sweets once in a while, refill your water cup across the room every hour. Do whatever you have to in order to keep your temple erect. As I always like to say, everything in moderation.
The World Health Organization has issued a warning that leading an excessively sedentary lifestyle is the number one underlying cause of both death and disability in the modern world. That’s how big a deal this issue is today. Therefore it is essential that you do everything within your power to increase your level of activity. At the very least, you should spend less time sitting and more time standing to reduce the risks caused by this lifestyle. However to make a significant difference, start making real changes to your routine now.
There’s no excuse. If you can’t get up every hour on the hour to move, drink, or whatever it is to get your blood flowing, then you have no one but yourself to blame. Modernization brings forth comfort and luxuries, as well as hidden dangers.
If you don’t take care of your body, then there will be dire consequences to pay. Feeling and looking good requires work. Not too much, yet not too little either. If you honestly believe fitting in 30 minutes of physical activity every other day is a pain, then what do you have to worry about? Perhaps you won’t have a long or bright future.
Averaging 13 hours alone just on sitting has become an American thing. Scientist and researchers are advocating on the extreme importance of physical activities. We are machines in the flesh. Your body is a sacred temple. What you do with it is your will, however, don’t blame God or the world if your temple crumbles to ashes.
About The Author: I’m Agatha Singer, a work-from-home mom of two little nuggets. My interests range from the latest e-Commerce trends to traditional folk culture and adventurous traveling. I always stay open to new ideas and expertise to make my writings handy and captivating for you.