This Article is From Jun 26, 2020

Sedentary Lifestyle Is More Harmful Than You Think: Here's How

Sedentary lifestyle: According to WHO, sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure and more serious health conditions.

Sedentary Lifestyle Is More Harmful Than You Think: Here's How

Sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of several chronic diseases

Highlights

  • Sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of heart disease
  • Eat a balanced diet and move more throughout the day
  • You should exercise for at least 30 minutes a day

Sedentary lifestyle or an inactive lifestyle is one of the biggest threats to your health. The sedentary lifestyle involves sitting or being at rest for too long with little or no exercise. Physical activity and regular exercise are essential for optimum health. But many fail to add enough exercise to their daily schedule. According to World Health Organisation, "Sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety." In this article, you will understand the harmful effects of following a sedentary lifestyle.

Harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle

1. Leads to obesity

Being couch potatoes by sitting all day in front of our screens or long duration of physical inactivity creates room for obesity to kick in. Being obese has its own side effects. Obesity is linked with many serious diseases and health conditions such as sleep apnea, joint pain, risk of stroke, heart disease risk, hypertension and more.

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Sitting for too long can cause weight gain
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Makes you prone to heart diseases

Sedentary behaviour can lead to high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels and increase in blood sugar levels which in turn damage the walls of the blood vessels increasing the risk of a heart attack.

Also read: 5 Lifestyle Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease And Reduce Heart Attack Risk

3. Likely to develop dementia, anxiety and depression

When you are sluggish for too long your mental health tends to suffer too as it increases the chances of stress, restlessness and depression. This condition is more likely in adolescents and adults because they are more likely to spend more time looking at screens. Many also follow an unhealthy diet and poor sleep schedule. These factors can worsen the condition.

4. Increase in chances of cancer

Being physically inactive and long hours of sitting can increase the risk of certain cancers including colon, breast and lung cancer.

Also read: 50% Cancer Cases Are Preventable, Says Expert; Know Some Cancer Prevention Tips

5. Osteoporosis

Your bones and muscles are made to work. The sedentary behaviour and an inactive lifestyle affect your body's regulation and can make the bones weaker which is associated with a higher is of osteoporosis.

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Sedentary lifestyle can affect your bones too
Photo Credit: iStock

6. Little or no flexibility

Sedentary lifestyle can lead to loss of flexibility as the flow of blood is comparatively slow through firm and bound muscles. It can also cause inflammation and pain. There can also be pressure on the disks in your lower back which is a common reason for backache.

Tips to move more throughout the day

  • Do more physical activity- go for running, cycling or play an outdoor sport
  • Exercise daily- it is advised to exercise for at least 30 mins a day
  • Take the stairs instead of using an elevator
  • Prefer taking phone calls outside and walking while talking
  • Park your vehicle away from your workplace so that you can walk till there
  • Spend more time doing your house chores or gardening
  • Take walk breaks instead of another tea break

Also read: Do You Have A Sitting Job? Know Ways To Move More At Your Desk Job

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.