Meaning of sedentary lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle means spending too much daily time in rest-friendly activities. Rest definition is a position of leisure in which you sit or lay in a place usually to recover from tiredness. It is very essential as it helps your survival also. But too much of it is bad and a person who spends most of the day time taking rest can be called as living a sedentary lifestyle.
According to NCBI one-third, of the global population which includes 15nyears old to adult people is living a sedentary life. It means a large portion of the human population is living an unhealthy lifestyle which can cause severe outcomes. Perhaps due to this lifestyle large numbers of health issues are rising worldwide. [ Cite-1 ]
An average American spends 7.7 hours and an Asian 8.3 hours of morning time daily while resting, lying, sitting, or sleeping. [ C-1 ]
Too much work is bad for your health and wellness. During rest, your body recovers from fatigue, laziness, and tiredness due to physical or mental work. As rest is crucial but too much rest is also bad. Many issues can arise due to it.
Unfortunately in today’s world people are becoming lazier, not due to work or jobs but to the high availability of leisure, entertainment related things. Less involvement of modern humans in physical activities is also believed as a factor that is leading them to live a sedentary lifestyle.
Basically Living too much rest-friendly life is called a “sedentary lifestyle” which can create health issues but other life-related problems also. Just like normal rest engagement in physical activities are also important. Physical activities mean those in which you do some physical works like walking, running, lifting, etc. These activities are also called exercises. Daily engagement in exercises is very essential to keep the health issues away.
In the short term, a sedentary lifestyle can increase basic health risks and in long term, it can increase more adverse mortality-related health risks. According to WHO yearly 2 million people are losing their lives due to physical inactivity and are raising a great health concern. To deal with these issues WHO has to recommend authorities take action for the prevalence of a healthy lifestyle. [ C-2 ]
Examples of the sedentary lifestyle
- Over resting like spending most time lying, sitting
- Oversleeping is also its example
- Spending most of the day time in front of mobile or computer
- Less or zero engagement in physical activities or exercises
- In jobs or house related work using machines mostly instead of the body, work can be also an example of it
Causes sedentary lifestyle
Here are some main causes why most people are living a sedentary life:
Too much use of the internet
As a person need to sit or lay to use computer or mobile and most people spend hours in this position.
Rest friendly jobs
Nowadays people prefer that jobs in which they usually faceless the needs for physical works. Moreover, most modern jobs needed people to work mostly in front of machines or computers, which is why human involvement in physical activities has declined. As robots or machines have taken that responsibility.
Too many types of foods are available in the market. People usually eat unhealthy foods like processed, fried, sugary, or sodium-rich that are highly linked with health issues like obesity or different other diseases. An obese or overweight person usually engages less physically as compared to a normal weighted person.
Computer or mobile games
This is also the main reason why people are living rest-friendly lives. Usually, most especially children and adults spend too much time playing mobile and computer games.
Lacking physical engagement
People are becoming lazy because they are not doing exercise-related works. Exercises are also known as physical activities which play a very important role in making the lives tyle health-friendly. These activities promote activeness and increase the urge to move whereas avoiding these can make a person lazy, rest friendly, and his/her urge to move for physical works can reduce. [ C-1 ]
Less availability of exercise-friendly environment
People are also avoiding exercise because resources for exercise are very few those days. Most governments are promoting people to make money but very few are doing work for the general population’s physical fitness. There are very insufficient gyms or fitness centers available all around the world which are not fulfilling the needs of the general person. Moreover, these costs too much and an ordinary person can’t afford them. Also, their presence in rural areas is very minimal.
Sedentary lifestyle effects
A bad living style is called a sedentary lifestyle which has many adverse effects. It can make a person ill and may contribute to severe health outcomes.
Below main points are discussed how a sedentary lifestyle affects your health and what are the solutions to deal with those.
The meaning of a sedentary lifestyle is physical inactiveness in daily life. Lack of physical activity is the main reason or cause of obesity. Obesity is the top contributor to various health issues or diseases like cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cholesterol issues, cancer, respiratory issues like asthma, and many more. A person who lives sedentary life is more likely to get obese and can become the victim of severe diseases which can result in premature death studies says. [ C-1 ]
A person who lives sedentary life can face 10 percent more risks of obesity and its outcomes. Swedish researchers have done studies on sedentary lifestyle and its linked with obesity. In a study, they observe two groups of people who were given physical tasks differently. One group was told to engage in medium to high-intensity physical works while the second group was advised to spend most of the time resting with less engagement in exercises.
Possibilities of physical inactiveness in obese people are high as compared to normal weighted people.
Results find that the group who was involved in high-intensity physical works successfully lose the extra body weight but the second group people were unsuccessful in losing reasonable body weight and they were also at high risks of obesity as compared to the first ones. [ C-1 ]
Basically, obesity risks increase when you eat too many calories but burn very few. Calories can be burned or use with physical activities whereas physical inactivity leads to this issue. Moreover when a person becomes obese than in that position risks and outcomes due to a sedentary lifestyle can become more severe. [ C-1 ]
Modern entertainment-related things are also causing people to remain physically inactive like spending too much time in front of the computer, and mobile playing games, using social media and related activities are increasing obesity rates especially in adult people. When a person spends most of the time in front of a screen then giving time to physical activities or exercises is mostly impossible. Gaming which can make a person addict is also the major contributor to obesity in children and adults. [ C-3 ]
Cardiovascular diseases are those which affect your heart and blood vessels that are mostly responsible for the blood flow in the whole body. Mostly these issues arise when high-fat tissues build up in the blood vessels and stop or disturb the blood flow. [ C-4 ]
Experts say cardiovascular diseases are highly linked with being physically inactive. Remaining long-term inactive from exercises can cause obesity, cholesterol issues, hypertension, diabetes, etc. All of these diseases or issues contribute a lot to triggering heart attacks, strokes, or related cardiovascular incidents. [ C-4 ]
Hypertension is common in physically inactive people and it is the major contributor to heart failure as the extra workload on the heart can make its left ventricular hypertrophy chamber get thick, and in this condition, a person’s heart may face high problems in pumping required blood to the body which can trigger heart failure. [ C-7 ]
A sedentary lifestyle can make you obese and being obese can increase the risks of cardiac arrest several times. Mortality due to heart diseases is very high in less active people as they remain at high risks of incidents that can cause fatality. [ C-4 ]
High cholesterol due to obesity can cause issues with blood flow. It can cause clotting by narrowing the blood vessels and can lead to severe health outcomes. [ C-4 ]
To observe and know the effect of a sedentary lifestyle on cardiovascular health experts have done several studies and researches. With the help of 34 studies on 1331468 participants, experts found that physical inactiveness especially spending too much time in front of the computer, mobile or TV can greatly increase the risks of getting cardiovascular diseases which can increase early death possibilities. Experts say that spending 6-8 hours while sitting and 3-4 hours of using mobile or computer are risky and it can be called “threshold” as above it risks of severe CVD outcomes can increase many times. [ C-5 ]
In one study experts finds that involvement in exercises can decrease cardiovascular risks even in those who have high possibilities to get CVD diseases. They find that a combination of aerobic exercises and strength training works well in this regard. [ C-6 ]
High blood pressure
High blood pressure which is also known as hypertension is a disease in which the heart pumps the blood in arteries with long-term abnormal high force. This issue is the major cause of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney failure, etc. [ C-7 ]
According to the mayo clinic, people who live a sedentary life can face heart diseases more than others who do exercise. Being physically inactive makes you obese which is also the main reason for high blood pressure and heart diseases. Too much fat tissue can narrow your blood vessels and contribute to long-term high blood pressure and severe heart issues possibilities. [ C-7 ]
Scientific research has concluded that a healthy lifestyle is less associated with high BP risks whereas an unhealthy lifestyle like being physically inactive for most of the daily time was highly associated with hypertension or high blood pressure. [ C-8 ]
Diabetes is a blood glucose-related disease in which your blood glucose or sugar level can go abnormally high at a risky position. This health issue is strongly correlated to an unhealthy lifestyle especially being inactive for a long time can make this disease catch you. Managing diabetes is needed otherwise it cannot only trigger fatal heart cardiovascular incidents but also can cause kidney failure, eyesight issues, nerve damage, injury healing issues, etc. [ C-9 ]
Type 2 diabetes is highly linked with fatal incidents like cardiovascular-related. According to the data on PUBMED, this issue can arise in those who mostly spend time sitting or with long-term sedentary behavior. [ C-5 ]
Experts have issued a warning to those who mostly spend their time sitting while using the computer, mobile as they say these people are more likely to get type 2 diabetes issues as compared to well active people. [ C-5 ]
It is not possible to get reasonable muscle mass without exercise. Moreover, if you are less engaged in exercise, you can degrade not your health & fitness level but your body’s muscularity can also be reduced. Instead of muscle, your body can put them too many fat tissues which can be problematic or health issue generator.
Physical activities like exercises improve body fitness and health. Whereas ignoring or not engaging in these activities can put adverse effects on your fitness level.
With a sedentary lifestyle, your body can put up too much body fat and muscle tissues can decrease. Too much body fat means obesity in which fitness graph can lower at that level that you may not even properly do some physical work like 50 meter running which can be an easy task for a healthy weight person who does exercise daily.
Another thing you may need to know is that a sedentary lifestyle can bring the fitness graph down even if you are not obese or overweight. A person who remains physically inactive for most of the time can be left far behind in works that demand fitness.
You can’t run a mile if you are physically inactive. It is possible that you can lose your breath even after a minute. Not just running but you may be unable to perform any physical work properly while living a sedentary lifestyle.
Physical inactive people are less likely to keep themselves fit in jobs. Moreover, their rest-friendly behavior at the job can reduce their chances to get a good reputation and a high post. As most companies prefer active and fit people who can do hard work so in this situation it may be very hard for you to get or adjust yourself to a job. Not having a job means a financial crisis which can make a person homeless also.
A person who is jobless due to being lazy can face disrespectful behavior from their relatives or colleagues. In short, it is not possible to live a better standard life without being active.
High HDL cholesterol is good but the high level of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol can be dangerous. In lipids disorders, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides increase at danger levels. This health issue is a great contributor to heart disease.
After many studies scientists have found that a sedentary lifestyle is the major cause of lipids disorder. A physically inactive person is more likely to get High LDL cholesterol and plasma triglycerides levels. Whereas in physically active people they find that risks are very minimum. [ C-10 ]
The possibilities of lipids disorders are high in lazy people. They are more likely to become the victim of heart issues. Research says cholesterol abnormalities are mostly found in obese people who mostly remain inactive for most of the time. Experts have recommended those people to lose weight with exercises as abnormal body weight can be a significant hinder towards lowering LDL cholesterol or lipids disorder risks. [ C-10 ]
Physical inactiveness leads to obesity, diabetes, and related issues which are also considered as the main cause of lipids disorder. [ C-12 ]
Having normal LDL cholesterol but low HDL cholesterol can also cause problems as experts say it is also a health condition that can increase the predictions of heart attack, strokes, heart failure, or other related cardiovascular incidents. [ C-11 ]
If you want to reduce the possibilities of severe diseases then consider moving towards healthy foods and daily exercises. [ C-12 ]
Cancer is a very dangerous disease in which cells of the body grows at an uncontrollable high rate and can spread to the whole body. It is including in the top 10 worst diseases list due to which millions of people are losing their lives annually.
Remaining less active in exercises increases obesity possibilities which are considered as the root of cancer. Not just one but an obese person remains at the risk of several types of cancer.
With the analysis of different studies, experts have found that inactive person remains at 30 to 40 percent more risks of getting cancer as compared to active people. [ C-13 ] [ C-14 ]
30 to 60 minutes of daily engagement in physical activities or exercises reduces 20 to 30 percent of the risks of developing breast cancer in women. A large community base study concludes the positive outcomes of physical activeness against breast cancer risks. [ C-13 ] [ C-14 ]
In this study, 3131 old women’s health status was monitored for 7 years and during this time experts finds that highly active women were less hospitalized but lazy or inactive women’s hospitalization ratio for breast cancer treatment was very high. [ C-14 ]
There is significant research data available that conclude that active people are less likely to get lung cancer. To reduce these risks significantly avoiding “smoking” is highly recommended. [ C-13 ]
Mental health problems
Mental health means your “brain health”. Bad mental health outcomes can be very severe. These issues can be very problematic and can change the patient life completely. Some main and most common mental diseases are “depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and OCD.
Physical inactiveness or a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to triggering mental health problems. According to the well-reputed medical data sports or physical exercises reduces the risks of mental diseases to develop or become severe. A person who lives a sedentary lifestyle can face more mental problems like depression, anxiety, stress, etc. Exercises not only reduce risks but are very beneficial for mental patients also as with these symptoms can improve. That is why almost every psychiatrist recommends their patient to remain physically active. Exercise-related therapies help mental patients to live a proper life. [ C-15 ] [ C-16 ]
Some researchers say that exercises are good for mentally ill people but they have raised some concerns over the physicians’ advice related to exercises. As they say, some exercise-related guidelines can be hard to follow for mental patients, therefore proper exercise guidelines that can be followed for good results are recommended. [ C-17 ]
Solutions for Sedentary lifestyle
For a person daily engagement in physical activities like exercises, healthy eating, and spending less time in front of a computer or mobile can be good for healthy lifestyle goals.
WHO has advised the governments, communities, and authorities to take reasonable steps to promote a health-friendly lifestyle. As many governments are doing well but personal actions always speak well. If someone is not willing to live a good lifestyle then how someone can promote a healthy lifestyle to him/her. [ C-2 ]
There are some ways about how authorities can make people engage in health-friendly activities which promote a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some solutions that experts say are good in this matter:
- Making more public access parks, grounds, gyms
- Promoting bicycle rides in people
- Implementing strict rules against unhealthy activities like smoking, alcoholism, or related addicted habits
- Promoting healthy activities like exercise, healthy eating, at school, colleges, and universities.
- Making fitness centers that cost less but promote wellness well
- Promoting awareness of a health-friendly lifestyle in the general population.
The main reason for the rising of health issues is because most of us are living an unhealthy sedentary life. A lot of health issues and severe diseases are linked with it. Not just individually but this issue is also needed to be solved at the international or the national level. That is why World Health Organization (WHO) has to provide recommended guidelines to high authorities who control a large portion of the population. As experts know it is possible to control the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle with reasonable effort.
The article was reviewed on 21, July 2021