A sedentary or inactive lifestyle is a lifestyle that has little physical activity with lots of sitting down time and little or no exercise.
According to the WHO, 2 million deaths per year are attributed to physical inactivity.
People nowadays are spending more time doing sedentary activities. At work, they sit most of the day behind their desks, and after work they watch TV, or play games on computers and other electronic devices. However, having a sedentary lifestyle has many effects on the body and health.
How does an inactive lifestyle affect our body?
- When you have an inactive lifestyle, you burn less calories making you more likely to gain weight easier.
- It makes you lose muscle strength and endurance since you are not using them
- Your metabolism will be affected making it harder for you to burn sugar and fat
- Your immune system will not work as well as when you are active
- You may have poor blood circulation and more risk of inflammation
- You may develop hormonal imbalance
What are the health risks of being inactive?
Having an inactive lifestyle can be one of the causes of many chronic diseases. By not getting regular exercise, you raise your risk of:
- Chronic disease like heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes
- Certain cancers
- Increased feeling of Depression and anxiety
Moreover, lack of physical activity affects our mental health by increasing the feeling of depression and anxiety. It can also raise your risk of premature death. And the more sedentary you are, the higher your health risks are.
The habit of living a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and nutritious diet start in childhood. Parents as well as schools should work together to spread this awareness to the children. We should all adopt a healthy and active lifestyle. The WHO recommends as a preventive measure 30 minutes of physical activity per day, tobacco cessation and healthy nutrition. Governments sand policy makers should also create a supportive environment for people to be healthy. This includes implementing transportation policies that makes it safer for people to walk or ride bicycles, legislating tobacco-free public places, building accessible parks, and playgrounds, and promoting physical activity programs in schools and communities.
A small tip for you when you don’t like or are too tired to exercise, begin with just 5-10 minutes of physical activity. Chances are you will keep going once you have started.